US urged to establish nationwide Federal guidelines for autonomous driving
The US risks losing its leading global position in the development of self-driving cars if it allows a patchwork of varying state laws and regulations to develop, according to Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.
In a speech to be delivered Thursday at a high level seminar on self-driving cars organized by Volvo Cars and the Embassy of Sweden in Washington DC, Mr Samuelsson will say the US is currently the most progressive country in the world in autonomous driving (AD), but add this position could be eroded if a national framework for regulation and testing is not developed.
“The US risks losing its leading position due to the lack of Federal guidelines for the testing and certification of autonomous vehicles,” Mr Samuelsson will say. “Europe has suffered to some extent by having a patchwork of rules and regulations. It would be a shame if the US took a similar path to Europe in this crucial area.”
Mr Samuelsson will say the absence of national Federal oversight in the US runs the risk of slowing down the development and introduction of autonomous driving technologies by making it extremely difficult for car makers to test, develop and sell AD cars.
“The absence of one set of rules means car makers cannot conduct credible tests to develop cars that meet all the different guidelines of all 50 US states,” he will say. “If we are to ensure a smooth transition to autonomous mobility then together we must create the necessary framework that will support this.”
Mr Samuelsson will address a select audience at a seminar entitled “A Future with Self Driving Cars – Is it Safe?” at the House of Sweden in Washington DC, during which he will emphasize that the introduction of self-driving cars on the world’s roads will happen more quickly than many lawmakers anticipated.
He will urge regulators to work closely with car makers to solve controversial outstanding issues such as questions over legal liability in the event that a self-driving car is involved in a crash or hacked by a criminal third party.
Mr Samuelsson will clearly state Volvo’s position on both of these contentious issues.
He will say Volvo will accept full liability whenever one if its cars is in autonomous mode, making it one of the first car makers in the world to make such a promise.
He will add that Volvo regards the hacking of a car as a criminal offense.
“We are constantly evolving defensive software to counter the risks associated with hacking a car. We do not blame Apple, or Microsoft for computer viruses or hackers,” he will say.
Volvo Cars reveals safe and seamless user interface for self-driving cars
Volvo Cars has revealed one of the industry’s most advanced and easy-to-use interfaces to oversee how drivers will transfer control to a car’s autonomous driving (AD) mode in its forthcoming cars.
The advent of autonomous driving technology means that the relationship between a driver and a car’s user interface is of crucial significance. A safe and seamless handover of control is the cornerstone of any new trustworthy AD technology.
Volvo Cars has designed its IntelliSafe Auto Pilot to be simple and intuitive. The autonomous mode is activated and deactivated with specially-designed paddles on the steering wheel.
When entering a route where autonomous driving is available, the car gives the driver a message that the Auto Pilot is ready. At the same time, lights on the steering-wheel paddles start flashing.
The driver pulls both paddles simultaneously to activate autonomous mode. The lights on the paddles then change to constant green and Auto Pilot confirms that the driving and the supervision has been delegated to the car.
When autonomous driving is no longer available, the driver is prompted to take over again. A sixty-second countdown is displayed.
If the driver, for any reason, doesn’t use the paddles to regain control within this minute, the car will bring itself to a safe stop.
Thomas Ingenlath, SVP Design at Volvo Cars, said: “We have designed a user interface that is safe and seamless to use so that drivers can confidently transfer and regain control of the car.”
Volvo’s new IntelliSafe Auto Pilot will be available for the first time on the 100 XC90’s it is making available for the Drive Me project in Gothenburg in 2017, the world’s most ambitious AD project.
Drive Me will make 100 self-driving Volvos available to families and commuters around Gothenburg for use in everyday driving conditions. The cars will be driven autonomously on approximately 50 kilometres of selected roads.
Following its use in Drive Me, the IntelliSafe Auto Pilot will then be introduced to the general public.
Volvo Cars and Autoliv join forces in Autonomous Driving
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, and Autoliv, the automotive safety technology company, two of the world’s leaders in automotive safety, have agreed to work together on the ground-breaking Drive Me project, the world’s first large-scale autonomous driving (AD) initiative.
Drive Me involves 100 self-driving Volvos being used by families and commuters on public roads in everyday driving conditions in the Swedish city of Gothenburg – the first time anywhere in the world AD cars have been made available to members of the public for their daily use.
The two companies will work together to share research and development into the latest safety technologies and engineers and other industry experts from both companies will collaborate to push forward the introduction of active safety systems.
Drive Me is a broad collaboration of a number of public and private sector participants, including Volvo Cars, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Chalmers University, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg.
Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “We are delighted to welcome Autoliv to the Drive Me family. Autonomous driving will make our roads better and safer. The sooner we can develop the necessary technologies and start offering them in our cars the better.”
Autoliv’s inclusion in the Drive Me alliance will generate significant benefits. Autoliv’s established R&D and engineering expertise in automotive safety will contribute to the development of cutting edge active safety and autonomous driving technologies.
The range of participants in the Drive Me project reflects the many benefits associated with automated driving, such as more efficient road usage, more economical vehicle usage, less congested streets and better town planning.
One extremely important aspect of autonomous driving is the potential for far fewer traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities. According to independent statistics, over 90 per cent of all fatal accidents are believed to be caused by human error, typically due to inattention.
A self-driving car can detect and respond to situations causing these tragedies. The present active safety systems for Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Safety Lane Keeping Aid are examples of the first step towards automated driving.
Advanced driver assistance systems for active safety are designed to detect and warn and/or prevent car accidents by using different sensor technologies such as radar and vision systems.
“As automated driving cars evolve, human error will be significantly reduced and ultimately these cars will provide a new level of automotive safety”, said Jan Carlson, chairman, president and chief executive of Autoliv.
The Drive Me project was started in 2013 and the first families are expected to be on the roads of Gothenburg in 2017.