Over the past year, many of the conversations around autonomous vehicles (AVs) have been dominated by a single question: When will self-driving cars be the norm on public roads?
While industry leaders played a big game on the AVs monopolizing our streets back in 2016, today some experts have widely put Level 4 adoption more than a decade away. However, even that timeline only works if automakers overcome significant hurdles – both technical and practical. The challenge of bringing AVs to consumers will be harder than expected, with a central part of the effort focused on earning public trust.
Consumer confidence and mass adoption of AV go hand in hand. To meet the projected deadline and begin building this important trust today, automakers must accelerate the adoption of autonomous capabilities in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
Challenges facing existing ADAS technologies
The truth is, consumers don’t yet trust ADAS capabilities in their vehicles. a 2021 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Survey It found that 80% of drivers wanted existing vehicle safety systems, such as automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist, to work better, noting that consumers felt a lack of confidence about current offerings.
While consumers are aware that AV technologies are advancing rapidly, this lack of trust from users will be a major barrier to full adoption and could pose a threat to the industry – no matter how far the technology goes. develops.
Despite significant recent advances in the industry, including announcements from Cruise get permission To give rides to passengers in driverless test vehicles in California, AAA studies indicates that still only one in 10 drivers would be comfortable riding in a self-driving car. While consumers are aware that AV technologies are advancing rapidly, this lack of trust from users will be a major barrier to full adoption and could pose a threat to the industry – no matter how far the technology goes. develops.
To help build public trust, the industry must today focus on more advanced and reliable ADAS to meet consumer demands. However, current offerings face major challenges that must be resolved before most consumers can get on board:
- Lack of reliability under normal adverse conditions: Technologies including lidar and cameras limit what they can “see” around them. These systems can be easily obstructed by snow, dirt and debris covering the vehicle’s sensors. Additionally, without clear, clear lane markings – in conditions of snow, heavy rain or off-road conditions – or without a strong GPS signal, specific sensors that track vehicle location will not function properly.
- Bad Identity: There are many cases where ADAS technologies have been unable to detect poor lane markings, pedestrians, other vehicles or objects on a common road, resulting in injury and even death for drivers and pedestrians. happened.
- Less Understanding by the General Public: While some ADAS features are designed to operate independently, there is a persistent lack of public knowledge when it comes to understanding how to best use the system’s capabilities to maximize security. This lack of awareness is an unnecessary threat to drivers who unintentionally misuse technology as well as to those with whom they share the road.
Addressing these challenges and creating a better automated driving experience for consumers is an important step towards the mass adoption of AV technology of the future. The most immediate opportunity to move the needle with consumer acceptance in this area is to improve reliability and user experience – particularly with dynamic vehicle security systems. To do this, automated and autonomous vehicles need better sensors and software that enhance today’s systems and, as a result, increase consumer confidence in the safety of automated capabilities.
A new perspective on vehicle condition
Over the past decade, the industry has made various advances in positioning systems, which locate a vehicle down to the centimeter on roadways and are important additions to the traditional hardware stack. As a result, experts are betting on technologies such as ground-penetrating radar and novel mapping techniques as the last missing piece for robust vehicle positioning due to their ability to operate in adverse driving conditions and navigate highly dynamic environments.
While it’s clear that AVs can take different avenues to increase their reliability on the road, automakers are still trying to determine which approach can unlock the performance changes needed for widespread adoption. .
Taking a closer look at the differentiators that set these technologies apart, a common thread is how they address three important issues: the absence of roadside features such as on open highways, within parking lots or when a car trucks. is boxed by and has limited vision; reliance of camera-based systems on clear, consistent lane markings; and a rapidly changing environment in which the scene on the surface varies from moment to moment, and HD maps quickly become unusable. These common challenges leave consumers frustrated with inconsistent and unreliable ADAS features.
One way to address these critical gaps is to seek other avenues for reliable vehicle positioning such as ground-penetrating radar – which allows vehicles to determine their exact location in adverse weather or on rough terrain, poor GPS. It is possible for systems today to show improved autonomy – among other common constraints faced by availability and automated systems. By adding these new approaches to vehicles, automakers can create more reliable and accurate ADAS features – protecting the automated driving experience.
Leaning on ADAS as a vehicle for consumer confidence and mass AV adoption
A recent study by the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) found that consumers familiar with ADAS technology were more likely to feel positive about autonomous cars and 75% of those who currently own a vehicle with ADAS features, say That they are excited about the security technology of the future. This shows that consumer engagement in today’s ADAS features can lead to a more positive outlook on tomorrow’s AV adoption.
As an industry, where do we go from here? Many people are finding that there is a unique opportunity to solve future issues of autonomous vehicle operation by attacking them face-to-face in current ADAS systems – where they would otherwise be a future problem that would block mass adoption.
We need to address these critical issues with ADAS technologies and create a better driving experience to earn the public’s trust. By using high-performance ADAS as a route to mass AV adoption, we can get to the destination safely.
Industry, together with consumers, can build a secure autonomous future.