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At this time, every car manufacturer plus hundreds of startups are working on developing artificial intelligence for driving automation. This should enable communication with the car’s passengers, sensing and anticipating the behavior of other vehicles and road users, communicating with the cloud and planning a safe and fast journey. I will write later about the investments made to achieve this goal.
The development of car automation became visible when Google was the first to start a project in 2009. The activities that technology companies and the automotive industry carry out start from two different visions of the desired result.
Maintain the existing traffic system
The first view assumes that automation is a gradual process that will result in drivers ability to transfer control of the vehicle in a safe manner. It is provisionally assumed that a driver will always be present. That is why taking over control is no problem under specific conditions, such as bad weather and crowded streets. Tesla, an outspoken supporter of this vision, has therefore been talking about its autopilot for years. This came under heavy criticism because the number of functions that were automated was limited. Partly because of this, the so-called autopilot could only be used on a limited number of roads and under favorable conditions.
Most established automotive manufacturers primarily have in mind the higher segment of automobiles and announce they will only make relatively cheaper models suitable for this purpose at a later stage. Maintaining the current traffic system is paramount. The car industry wants to avoid at all costs that people will eventually stop buying cars and limit themselves to ride-hailing in autonomous vehicles.
Moving towards another traffic system
The latter is exactly the intention of the companies that adhere to the second vision. These primarily include non-traditional automotive companies, with Google (later Alphabet) in the lead. What they had in mind from the start was to achieve SAE level 4 and, in the long term, SAE 5 level, cars that can drive safely on the road without the presence of a driver. Companies belonging to this group advocate a completely new transport system. In their opinion, safe driving at SAE level 3 is impossible if the driver is not constantly paying attention. They believe that in the event of a 'disengagement signal', taking control of the car takes too much time and will result in dangerous situations. In addition to Google, Uber (in collaboration with Volvo) also belonged to this group, but now appears to have dropped out. This also applies to Ford and Volkswagen. General Motors is betting on two horses and aims to maintain accreditation at SAE level 4 with its subsidiary Cruise, although Alphabet's subsidiary Waymo has by far the best cards.
Important message for the readers
From next year on, the frequency of my articles about the quality of our living environment will decrease. I admit to an old love: Music. In my new website (in Dutch) I write about why we love music, richly provided with examples. Maybe you will like it. Follow the link below to have a look.
The term 'self-driving car' is used for a wide variety of technical support systems for car drivers. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has distinguished six types, as mentioned in the tabel above. This classification is recognized worldwide.
At SAE level 0, a car has been equipped with various warning systems, such as unvoluntary deviation from lane, traffic in the blind spot, and emergency braking.
At SEA levels 1 and 2, cars can steer independently or/and adjust their speed in specific conditions on motorways. Whether drivers are allowed to take their hands from the steering wheel depends on national law. That is certainly not the case in Europe. As soon as environmental conditions make steering and acceleration more complex, for example after turning onto a busy street, the driver must immediately take over the steering.
A properly functioning SAE Level 3 system allows drivers to take their eyes off the road and focus on other activities. They must sit behind the wheel and be on standby and are always held responsible for driving the car. They must immediately take over control of the car as soon as 'the system' gives a ('disengagement') signal, which means that it can no longer handle the situation. There is currently no car worldwide that is accredited at SEA-3 level.
This level of control is not sufficient for driverless taxi services. Automotive and technology companies such as General Moters and Alphabet have been working hard to meet the requirements of the higher levels (SAE 4). Their expensive cars (up to $250,000) have automated backups, meaning they can handle any situation under specified conditions, such as well-designed roads, during the day and at a certain speed. Under these circumstances, no driver is required to be present.
SAE Level 5 automation can operate without a driver in all conditions. There is currently no vehicle that meets this requirement.
The variety of options in this classification explains why the term 'self-driving car' should not be used. Cars classified at SAE level 1 and 2 can best be called 'automated cars' and cars from SAE level 3 onwards can be called autonomous cars.
The state of California introduced new rules in 2019 that allow cars at SAE 4 level to participate in traffic. Very strict conditions apply to this. As a result, Alphabet (Waymo) and General Motors (Cruise) have been allowed to launch driverless taxi services. All rides are monitored with cameras to prevent reckless behavior or vandalism.
<strong>Last week, you might have read the last in a series of 25 posts about improving environmental quality. Right now, I have finalized an e-book containing all posts plus additional recommendations. If you follow the link below, you can download the book (90 pages) for free. A version in Dutch language can be downloaded HERE**</strong>
Wil je optimaal profiteren van data?
Ben jij volop bezig met datagedreven projecten? Wil je leren hoe je het maximale uit data kunt halen en hoe je de uitdagingen kunt tackelen? Dan mag je ons Data en AI Seminar op 30 januari absoluut niet missen. Dit event gaat verder dan enkel inspiratie; het biedt je concreet praktische tools om data effectief in te zetten. Onze experts delen waardevolle inzichten, best practices en direct toepasbare tips om jouw organisatie te laten excelleren in de datagedreven wereld.
Voor wie is dit event?
Ben jij de drijvende kracht achter digitale transformatie in jouw organisatie? Sta je voor grote veranderingen en zoek je praktische tools die direct inzetbaar zijn? Ons seminar op 30 januari 2024 is speciaal ontworpen voor managers en besluitvormers die willen excelleren in de wereld van AI, analytics en data. Ontdek hoe je deze krachten kunt inzetten voor een tastbare impact in jouw organisatie. Ook professionals die hun kennis willen vergroten op deze baanbrekende onderwerpen zijn van harte welkom. We bieden inzichten en praktische tools die jou een voorsprong geven.
Wat kun je verwachten?
Vier inspirerende sprekers nemen je mee in het succes van datagedreven werken. Ze delen waardevolle inzichten en praktische tips om je op weg te helpen. Dit evenement biedt ook uitstekende mogelijkheden om te netwerken en ervaringen uit te wisselen.
Programma en locatie
Het programma is samengesteld uit een openingssessie en drie sprekerssessies.
Natuurlijk sluiten we de dag gezamelijk af met een hapje en drankje.
Datum: 30 januari 2024
Locatie: Royal HaskoningDHV, Amersfoort (Laan 1914 35, 3818 EX)