The Importance of the Communication between the Human Driver and the Autonomous Car


It is now clear that the driverless cars are soon becoming a reality. What is little known now is the reaction of the human drivers once they hand over the tasks of braking, steering or even avoiding obstacles. Volvo Cars intend to discover all these responses. The first step they have taken is fitting cars with video cameras. They have selected vehicles that are well fitted with an up-to-date driver-assistance feature. The vehicles are then given to five families to record their reactions while in the highway traffic. This effort by Volvo is aimed at getting data that will enable the company to come up with an entirely autonomous vehicle that can be used on the highway by the year 2021. The crucial information was disclosed on Monday by one of the executives heading this project known as Marcus Rothoff.

He also revealed that the autonomous car would give a chance for the person seated in the driver’s seat to enjoy a movie as the car drives him/her to his/her destination. All this is only going to be possible once people agree to let go of the control. Mr. Rothoff said that his company intends only to make a car that people can have confidence in since it is impossible to do anything if a person does not trust the car. One of the vehicles involved is the XC90 sport-utility that is well equipped with cameras that monitor the feet, eyes as well as the face of the person seated in the driver’s seat. Besides the camera, the car is fitted with technology that helps to maintain a particular speed, maintain the distance from the car in front as well as keeping its lane on the highway. It is essential for the driver always to have his hand on the wheel lest the alarm goes off.

As from the year 2010, Volvo has been owned by a Chinese company known as Geely Holdings. Together with other automakers, Volvo has been worried about maintaining the communication between the human driver and the capacity of the car to drive itself, especially when the driver needs to control the vehicle. The essence of understanding how to communicate with the driverless vehicle was realized in 2015 when a Tesla owner was killed by his car. A federal investigation found out that the man did not place his hand on the wheel despite multiple warnings by the vehicle.


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