Automation

Briefing: 5th EU Road Safety Action Programme 2020-2030

Briefing: 5th EU Road Safety Action Programme 2020-2030

2016 was the third consecutive poor year for road safety: 25,670 people lost their lives on EU roads compared to 26,200 the previous year – a 2% decrease. But this followed a 1% increase in 2015 and stagnation in 2014. In addition, around 135,000 people were seriously injured on European roads in 2014 according to European Commission estimates based on the MAIS 3+ standard definition of a serious injury. Road collisions give rise to huge costs to society. A recent study estimated the value […]

Volvo dials down the hype on automated driving trial

Volvo dials down the hype on automated driving trial

Volvo Cars has reduced the scale of its Drive Me automated driving trial and delayed the roll-out of fully-automated driving features to real-world users. The project, which has the support of the city of Gothenburg and the Swedish Government, was first announced in 2013 with the aim of testing 100 self-driving vehicles from 2017 with members of the public in the driving seat in every-day conditions on specially-chosen roads. But the revised plan signals a more cautious approach.   The company announced in December that […]

US report urges better safeguards for automated cars following Tesla crash investigation

US report urges better safeguards for automated cars following Tesla crash investigation

A comprehensive investigation by the US National Transport Safety Board into a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S and a heavy goods vehicle in Florida last year recommends that carmakers prevent drivers from activating automated driving features in situations that they were not designed for. The board’s final report, published in September, found that a truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way and a car driver’s inattention due to overreliance on vehicle automation were the probable causes of the fatal crash. […]

Euro NCAP outlines 2025 roadmap on car safety

Euro NCAP outlines 2025 roadmap on car safety

Euro NCAP has announced plans setting out how the consumer safety testing programme will evolve and respond to new vehicle safety technologies in the near future. The organisation says it will challenge vehicle manufacturers to offer the best possible technology as standard in all segments and countries, protecting not only car occupants of all ages but also increasingly addressing the safety of other more vulnerable road users. The roadmap outlines a timeline for the introduction of key testing enhancements, including: Primary safety Driver Monitoring […]

21 September 2017 – The European Transport Safety Lecture 2017

The European Transport Safety Lecture 2017 Artificial Intelligence: The consequences for society and transport safety Presented by the Dutch Safety Board Pulchri Studio, Lange Voorhout 15, The Hague – 21 September 2017 – 15:45-19:00 Organised by the Dutch Safety Board, the European Transport Safety Council’s 19th European Transport Safety Lecture addressed artificial intelligence and related future developments. Professor dr. A. E. (Gusz) Eiben gave an insight into technological developments in the field of artificial intelligence and the effects on our society and transport safety. Following the […]

Netherlands and Spain advance autonomous vehicle plans

Netherlands and Spain advance autonomous vehicle plans

The Netherlands may soon allow testing of autonomous vehicles without a driver on board and the Spanish government is working on a strategic plan for driverless and connected vehicles. Autonomous car tests have been possible in the Netherlands since 2015, though a driver was required to be in the driving seat at all times. The new proposal from transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen is for cars to operate with a “remote driver”. Companies will have to apply for a special license which will […]

UK House of Lords reality check on self-driving cars

UK House of Lords reality check on self-driving cars

A new report published by the UK’s upper house of parliament has warned that the safety and economic benefits of automated vehicles are unproven and urges the government to “not lose sight” of other possibilities to reduce road casualties. The sixty page report for the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee says the government needs to implement a ‘joined-up’, wider transport strategy that puts the development of autonomous vehicles within the context of broader goals. The current approach, focussing on autonomous passenger […]

Tesla autopilot updates change rules on speeding

Tesla autopilot updates change rules on speeding

Tesla’s latest software update has reversed an earlier change that capped the speed of its Autopilot driver assistance system at the posted speed limit on undivided roads. Tesla’s Model S cars received an initial software update just before Christmas that introduced the new restriction.  That update was linked to a crash earlier in the year of a Tesla vehicle in Florida that was operating in Autopilot mode, and travelling at 74 mph in a 65 mph zone. But earlier this month, a new update […]

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

The United States, China, Germany, Australia and the UK are among the countries to have made major announcements on rules governing self-driving cars in recent months, while the EU’s transport commissioner has promised a ‘master plan’ by the end of the year. ETSC says many safety questions remain unanswered. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a set of guidelines in September that called for voluntary reporting from carmakers on how their systems were tested, how they work and what happens if […]

Germany to Tesla: “Stop using the name Autopilot”

Germany to Tesla: “Stop using the name Autopilot”

The German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has written to Tesla calling on the company to stop using the ‘misleading’ term ‘Autopilot’ in its advertising. According to Reuters, the letter was sent last month and was followed by a letter from the KBA – The German Federal Motor Transport Authority – to all Tesla owners warning that their cars could not be operated without their ‘constant attention’. Tesla has apparently rejected the request to change the name of its system – the German version of […]

Opinion: It’s time to get serious about self-driving cars

Opinion: It’s time to get serious about self-driving cars

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director A shorter version of this article was published as a letter in the Financial Times on 24 August 2016. The recent death of a man driving a Tesla electric car in ‘Autopilot’ mode raises many questions for policymakers, vehicle manufacturers and the public at large. Regarding the specific crash in question, an official investigation is underway and expected to report within 12 months.  But several facts have already been made public. Firstly, the car was travelling above the speed limit. […]

Prioritising the Safety Potential of Automated Driving in Europe

Prioritising the Safety Potential of Automated Driving in Europe

Automated driving technologies are already preventing collisions and deaths on our roads. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is now mandatory on all new cars sold in Europe. Automated Emergency Braking (AEB), Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) and lane-keeping systems are increasingly commonplace. All these systems use technology to compensate, to some extent, for human error, taking some control away from the driver under certain circumstances. But we now stand on the verge of something much bigger. Fully autonomous vehicles may, in the near future, transform our […]

Automated vehicles need ‘driving tests’

Automated vehicles need ‘driving tests’

EU rules on safety approvals for new cars will need to be revised to include ‘driving tests’ for automated and fully-autonomous vehicles according to a new report from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). ETSC says the EU is far from answering the many research and regulatory questions that must be considered before automated and autonomous vehicles can be put on sale. The report says the priority must be ensuring that the promised safety benefits are delivered in real world driving. One challenge will […]

US government report highlights risks of increasing use of automation in aviation sector

US government report highlights risks of increasing use of automation in aviation sector

Aircraft automation can improve efficiency and reduce pilot workload, but recent incidents have shown that pilots that typically fly with automation can make errors when confronted with an unexpected event or when transitioning to manual flying, according to a U.S. Department of Transport Inspector General report published last month. The US Federal Aviation Administration estimates that automation is used 90 percent of the time in flight. “Reliance on automation is a growing concern among industry experts, who have also questioned whether pilots are provided […]

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