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#Driverless #Trucks will come before driverless #cars

Posted on April 13th, 2017

#Tech2025

04/12/2017 @MetroTech 6, NYU, Brooklyn, NY

Seth Clevenger – technology editor, Transport Topics News, @sethclevenger, talked about the rollout of driverless trucks. His main message was that there are many intermediate stages from adaptive cruise control (already exists in some cars) to fully autonomous operation.

Truck manufacturers are concentrating on systems that assist rather than replace drivers. These include

  1. Truck platooning – could roll out by year-end. – synchronize breaking; trucks can draft off each other for a 10% increase in efficiency. Brakes are linked, but still need drivers.( Peloton Technology plans to begin fleet trials)
  2. Connected vehicles – just starting to be regulated. (V2V, V2I). For instance, safety messages sent by each vehicle.
  3. auto docking at loading docks
  4. traffic jam assist – move forward slowly without driver assistance

Startups include: Uber/Otto, Embark, Starsky Robotics, Driver.ai

[One of my major concerns is the integrity of the software controlling the vehicle. A failure in software could cause accidents, however, my main concern is the potential insertion of a malicious virus as a sleeper cell within the millions of lines of code. In this case, the results could be catastrophic as all breaking and acceleration systems could be programmed to fail on a specific date in the future. At that moment, all vehicles on the road would be out of control potentially resulting in millions of accidents and thousands of deaths and injuries. Preventing such an event will require coordinating amongst suppliers and enforcement of strict software standards. The large number of suppliers makes this job especially complicated. This sleeper cell could lie dormant for years before it is activated.]

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