At the moment, there are two parallel roads to driverless driving. One involves automakers and parts suppliers working on incremental advances in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that could eventually fuse into an autonomous system. This road includes human-machine interfaces (HMIs) that are situation-aware and thus able to automatically adapt to driving conditions.
The other road heads straight to a self-driving vehicle, with suppliers working on complete autonomous driving systems they hope to sell to automakers or even end users. At the moment, the auto industry is at a crossroads since ADAS makes it clear that we’re halfway there already.
No Longer the Stuff of Science Fiction – Your car may be a safer driver than you are!
- The U.S. Department of Transportation categorizes the degree of vehicle automation into five levels:
- Level 0 is a completely manual vehicle.
- Levels 1–3 involve various degrees of automation, but the driver still retains some control of the vehicle.
- Level 4 is the Holy Grail, the point of full automation when directions can simply be given to a vehicle and the vehicle obeys.
- So-called driverless cars, tricked out with cameras and sensors, are great news for automotive suppliers of all manner of sensing technology. But they could be profoundly disruptive for automakers, reshaping everything from how cars are owned to how we move through urban settings.
Key Highlights of the Latest Consumer Telematics Update:
- Right now, technology centers around lane departure warning systems, park assist systems and safe distance warnings – all variations on sensor fusion.
- Technology goes way beyond saving lives. Ford estimates that if one in four cars is equipped with Traffic Jam Assist, commute times will be reduced by up to 37.5%.
- General Motors has set its sights on integrating smartphones and ADAS. A new system being developed by General Motors explores how pedestrians’ smartphones could be used to alert drivers to potential collisions.
- Volvo has integrated a strong distance warning system in its City Safety system. City Safety does not automatically brake. Instead, it primes the brake in the event of an approaching collision to increase its sensitivity should the driver step on the pedal.
- Tucked into the race to make cars safer, whether with or without the driver at the wheel, is a mini arms race for dynamic HMIs that would be situation-aware and thus able to automatically adjust to driving conditions.
What Dealers and their Managers Should Take Away For Now:
- Autonomous cars, in combination with advanced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to- infrastructure (V2I) communication, are expected to spike the greatest changes in the industry. But they are still five to 15 years away
- However, the trick for all companies working on autonomous components is to get the size and price of the various systems low enough to make them feasible for consumer vehicles.
The Consumer Telematics Show 2014 addresses the critical issues surrounding the connected car focusing on infotainment and driver assistance. For more information visit the Telematics Update website.