Notwithstanding the massive investment it has already committed, the heavy goods industry continues to pursue the goal of full automation.
To achieve it, the current and essential phase of vehicle connectivity helps them to collect data, the analysis of which will then enable the development of increasingly autonomous vehicles.
Vehicle autonomy calls on complex technology, but also on the analysis of multiple scenarios, which justifies the collection of huge amounts of data.
Autonomous vehicles are still mostly designed for off-roads uses (mines, ports, airports, logistical zones…) or in dedicated motorway/freeway lanes. It is because there are still a number of technical, safety-related or social aspects that remains to be addressed to let driveless vehicles on all types of road freely.
This is what manufacturers are trying to address through tests on the Data flows from connected trucks. Their analysis must help us prevent any problem linked to automated driving.
In parallel, the adequate IT infrastructures must be deployed to allow a good communication between vehicles, infrastructures and the whole road environnement (traffic lights, road markings, barriers, and other vehicles), and also a good interpretation of the exchanged information.
At the end of the day, around ten years of work and studies should be needed before letting driveless vehicles roaming free on every freeways.
AUTOMATION LEVELS ACCORDING TO SAE INTERNATIONAL’S STANDARD OF 2014
- LEVEL 0 - Only the human driver operates the vehicle, without any assistance
- LEVEL 1 - The automated system assists the driver occasionally in certain driving tasks (adaptive cruise control, etc.)
- LEVEL 2 - The automated system may execute certain tasks under the control of the driver (lane departure warning, park assist, etc.)
- LEVEL 3 - The system may execute certain tasks and monitor its environment. Nevertheless, the driver must be in a position to intervene at any time.
- LEVEL 4 - The automated system may perform certain actions and monitor its environment without requiring the human driver to intervene : discretionary comprehensive autonomous driving (motorway, etc.)
- LEVEL 5 – The automated system can perform all the tasks that the human driver can usually perform and in all circumstances : fully-autonomous driving.