European intelligent vehicle test

Robocar news:

This press release describes a European research project on various intelligent vehicle technologies which will take place next year. As I outline in the roadmap a number of pre-robocar technologies are making their way into regular cars, so they can be sold as safer and more convenient. This project will actively collect data to learn about and improve the systems.

Today’s systems are fairly simple of course, and will learn a lot from this. This matches my prediction for how a robocar test suite will be developed, by gathering millions and later billions of miles of sample data including all accidents and anomalous events, over time with better and better sensors. Today’s sensors are very simple of course but this will change over time.

Initial reaction to these systems (which will have early flaws) may colour user opinion of them. For example, some adaptive cruise controls reportedly are too eager to decide there is a stopped car and will suddenly stop a vehicle. One of the challenges of automatic vehicle design will be finding ways to keep it safe without it being too conservative because real drivers are not very conservative. (They are also not very safe, but this defines the standards people expect.)

Unsafe Drivers


I agree with your last paragraph.

I think we will have to show the non-conservative drivers that the car can get them there at almost the same time *and* be much safer.

I know that when I'm in a hurry, I'll do everything to gain a few seconds by accelerating, tailgating and switching lanes. However I still realize that it's really just a few seconds, but I do it anyway. :-(

Perhaps the benefit of not having to drive will begin to outweigh a few lost minutes.

Thanks for the great blog,

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