This week - More on the guy in a car seat, distracted drivers, US guidelines, traffic signals on Kindle and the Frankfurt motor show

Home / News | posted on 15 09 2017

ITSnow.org News Roundup looks at why that guy was dressed as a car seat, a way to detect drivers who are distracted, the new US guideline for autonomous vehicles, at traffic signals on Kindle and how all the trends are starting to come together at the Frankfurt motor show.


Ford Uses Lights to Signal Pedestrians

Ford Uses Lights to Signal Pedestrians

Ford and Virginia Tech have revealed more about the study they undertook recently, which was notable because they used a guy in a car seat costume, which we reported on at the time. Although it was known that the study was being undertaken to get a clearer picture of the issues that self-driving vehicles will face in their interaction with other road users, they have confirmed that they are trying to find a universal solution to find "a way to replace the head nod or hand wave" to convey to pedestrians the intent of an autonomous vehicle, according to Ford's human factors specialist John Shutko. Instead of using written text, the study evaluated the use of lights at the top of the vehicle windscreen. The operation of the lights provides an indication of what the vehicle is doing, a solid white light shows that it is in fully autonomous mode, a blinking light shows that it is accelerating and a pair of white lights moving side to side shows that it is slowing or stopping. The hope is that eventually all vehicle manufacturers will adopt a single method to convey this information, instead of each having their own system.

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Distracted Driving Detection

Distracted Driving Detection

The University of Waterloo in Canada has been working on the development of algorithms which can accurately determine if a driver attention is not focused on driving, for example because they are using their mobile phone. The system uses cameras within the vehicle which are analysed using artificial intelligence to determine if the driver is doing something abnormal. With estimates that distracted drivers are the cause for up to 75% of all traffic accidents worldwide, the project lead Professor Fakhri Karray, said "It has a huge impact on society. The car could actually take over driving if there was imminent danger, even for a short while, in order to avoid crashes".

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White House Backs Voluntary Autonomous Rules

White House Backs Voluntary Autonomous Rules

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced new self-driving vehicle guidelines titled 'Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety', which will do away with requirements for vehicle manufacturers to gain regulatory approval before launching autonomous features. Speaking at the University of Michigan's autonomous testing facility, "This advanced, updated guidance clarifies and incorporates many of the concerns we subsequently heard from stakeholders and users" Chao said "As the technology advances, and the department gathers new and more information, we will continue to refine and update this document".

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Traffic Signals now on Kindle

Traffic Signals now on Kindle

The traffic signals book is now available on Kindle for the first time, the print copy has been well received by practitioners in the industry, so have a look at your local Amazon site (or Kindle Store on your device) for more details.

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2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

The Frankfurt motor show is acknowledged as being a key indicator of emerging trends in the motor industry, but these year, the plethora of electric vehicle announcements and concepts has eclipsed the normal exotica. Most marque's have now pledged to include a sizeable proportion of their range using electric or hybrid power trains by the mid 20's, although the Mercedes-AMG Project One definitely swam against that tide, being based on Formula 1 technology with a 992bhp-plus petrol electric power train, a snip at £2m. A warning to the small scale autonomous pod developers out there though, vehicles such as the Volkswagen Sedric concept (pictured) show how seriously the big manufacturers are looking at mobility for their own future.

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