Driverless Cars & Human Control

With the development of driverless cars pressing forward, just how much monitoring & assistance will they require?

The main concern is the pre-conceived view that human control will be completely eliminated. If within the future this is the case, at present we shouldn’t ignore the human element of automated driving.

Automation works well for repetitive tasks, such as dishwashers and over recent years developed more within aviation. Many aspects of piloted planes are controlled by computer systems, but still require human monitoring. Although monitoring can also bring complications; an example being the increase in plane accidents, where interaction with automation systems has failed. Safety is paramount, with driverless prototypes being supported by teams of dedicated engineers to ensure that all vehicles are safe on the road. However, there is a concern that without human interaction, there won’t be a significant difference in the amount of car accidents.

Recently a Delphi – engineered self – driving vehicle completed a cross-country trip, driving 99% of the way without encountering any problems. The human engineers only took control when a police car was present or a zone was lined with unusual markings. The monitoring ensures that failures and problems are corrected and avoided. Ford already has project vehicles on the road to develop self-driving cars. The aim of these cars is to establish how systems such as lane keeping, cross traffic alert, active park assists, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and collision warning can work together to keep traffic moving safely.

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