• Connected and Automated Vehicles

    Automated and connected vehicle technologies are among the most heavily researched automotive technologies. The vehicle technologies currently available are only a fraction of what is being developed for the future. The technologies for autonomous cars, connected cars, and advanced driver assistance systems overlap, below is an overview of the technologies, definitions, benefits and challenges of this emerging sector.

    Levels of Automation

    Fully automated, autonomous, or “self-driving” vehicles are defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as “those in which operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking and are designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode.” There have been multiple definitions for various levels of automation, for the sake of standardization, and to aid clarity and consistency, NHTSA has adopted the SAE International definitions for levels of automation. These definitions divide vehicles into levels based on “who does what, when.” 

    Level 0

    The human driver does all the driving.


    Level 1

    An advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) on the vehicle can assist the human driver with either steering or braking/accelerating.


    Level 2

    An ADAS on the vehicle can control both steering and braking/accelerating under some circumstances. The human driver must continue to pay full attention (“monitor the driving environment”) at all times and perform the rest of the driving task.


    Level 3

    An ADS on the vehicle can itself perform all aspects of the driving task under some circumstances. In those circumstances, the human driver must be ready to take back control at any time when the ADS requests the human driver to do so. In all other circumstances, the human driver performs the driving task.


    Level 4

    An ADS on the vehicle can itself perform all driving tasks and monitor the driving environment – essentially, do all the driving – in certain circumstances. The human need not pay attention in those circumstances.


    Level 5

    An ADS on the vehicle can do all the driving in all circumstances. The human occupants are just passengers and need never be involved in driving.


    Read more - NHTSA Automated Vehicles for Safety


    Connected Vehicles

    Connected vehicles are vehicles that use any of a number of different communication technologies to communicate with the driver, other cars on the road (vehicle-to-vehicle [V2V]), roadside infrastructure (vehicle-to-infrastructure [V2I]), and the “Cloud” [V2C]. This technology can be used to not only improve vehicle safety, but also to improve vehicle efficiency and commute times. Listed below are the types of communicaton, with links to more information, and some of the benefits of connected vehicles:

    Read more - Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Publications


    Benefits

    In 2016, motor vehicle-related crashes on U.S. highways claimed 37,461 lives. US Dept of Transportation research shows that 94% of serious crashes are due to human error. Some of the benefits of connected and automated vehicles include:

    Crash Elimination: Crash-free driving and improved vehicle safety, a vehicle can monitor the environment continuously, making up for lapses in driver attention.

    Reduced Need for New Infrastructure: By managing traffic flow, self-driving can reduce the need for building new infrastructure and reduce maintenance costs

    Travel Time Dependability: V2V, V2C, and V2I can substantially reduce uncertainty in travel times via real-time, predictive assessment of travel times on all routes

    Productivity Improvements: A reduction in driving tasks will allow travelers to use travel time more productively 

    Improved Energy Efficiency: Reduced energy consumption in at least three ways: more efficient driving; lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles; and efficient infrastructure

    New Models for Vehicle Ownership: Self-driving vehicles could lead to a major redefinition of vehicle ownership and expand opportunities for vehicle sharing

    New Business Models and Scenarios: Convergence of technologies may realign industries such that companies need to compete and collaborate at the same time

    Read more - NHTSA Automated Driving Systems


    Challenges

    Although adding connectivity to vehicles has its benefits, it also has challenges. By adding connectivity, there can be issues with security, privacy, and data analytics and aggregation due to the large volume of information being accessed and shared.

    The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office  of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) conducts research, development, and education activities to facilitate the adoption of intelligent vehicles, intelligent infrastructure, and the integration of an intelligent transportation system.

    The ITS Standards Program, established in 1996, develops standards based on open, non-proprietary technology, and fosters interoperable vehicle communication systems. Working with public and private organizations, companies, and agencies, the program has published 91 standards to accelerate connected vehicle development.

    Early examples of vehicle connectivity are GPS systems, General Motor’s OnStar, Ford’s Sync, and Chrysler’s Uconnect. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa are combining that earlier technology with lessons from the smart-phone industry to increase connectivity and integrate information across devices.

    Read more - Connected Vehicle Communication Standards


    The Road to Autonomous Vehicles Presentation - HI-TEC 2016 - A presentation by Bob Feldmaier, Director of the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology, at the 2016 High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) discussing the following three questions: Why the interest in autonomous vehicles?  How does the technology work?  What are the remaining challenges?

    To learn more about automated and connected vehicle technologies, visit the Automated and Connected Vehicle Technology section of our Resource Library, our Quick Links page, the videos and links below, or this article explaining how automated vehicles could change our lives:

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