POSTED 17 December 2018

Why vehicle automation will increase the need for safety checks

Sophisticated safety testing will be needed to make sure that automated systems on vehicles are performing properly, says Opus CTO Tom Fournier in an article for CIO Applications magazine.

Automation in vehicles is designed to keep us safer by reducing the biggest risk factor for accidents – human error. In this article, Tom argues that the condition of the vehicle will become more important for road safety than driver competence and this will drive a need for intelligent safety testing.

The need to test on board AI

Safety will depend on making sure that the automated systems are performing properly. Checking the artificial intelligence (AI) software as well as the array of sensors on board autonomous vehicles will become as important as checking the exhaust is today. Increasing vehicle complexity and automated driving decision making will increase demand for periodic safety testing in the U.S. where it is not widely enforced today.

 “Eventually, our safety will no longer depend only on the familiar notions of properly functioning brakes, suspension, and lighting,” writes Tom. “It will also require proper function and calibration of LIDAR, radar, cameras, and ultrasound sensors as well as working circuitry and software.

Driving demand for safety testing in the U.S.

“We are planning for a future where our test lanes include in-depth digital interrogation of vehicle AI as well as checks of sensor function and calibration.

“It remains to be seen whether the U.S. follows the lead of the rest of the world and widely adopts periodic safety inspections as a requirement to ply public roads; however, the advent of fully autonomous vehicles may be reason enough to move the needle in that direction.”

Read the full article

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