November '18

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60 THE SHOP NOVEMBER 2018 hree sessions at the recent Flash Memory Summit (FMS) made it apparent that, like it or not, the driverless car is coming. They won't arrive as quickly as some analysts predict, but they will change everything. But first, they'll require advances in pro- cessor, sensor and storage technologies, arti- ficial intelligence, cloud/edge computing and telecommunications. According to Strategy Analytics, it could easily be a $7 trillion market by 2050. But it won't be a smooth trip. People will be asked to change their opin- ions about vehicles from being a measure of success, freedom and independence to simply being transportation. GETTING ROLLING The autonomous road won't be without its accidents and fatalities, because infallible technology will fail. For a lot of people, the idea of trusting their life to a computer hurtling them down the road sounds foolhardy. The whole idea behind the autonomous vehicle, however, is to eliminate human error and deliver zero street/road fatalities. Sounds awesome, but it's impossible. Every incident, though, can produce system and artificial intelligence improve- ments so accidents happen less frequently, rather than tens of thousands of people making the same mistake with the same outcome—injury or death. In other words, it sure beats the status quo. Last year, auto accidents killed more than 40,000 folks in the U.S. and more than 1.2 million people worldwide. As a result, most countries have carried out aggressive efforts to reduce vehicle crashes. And combined with safer vehicles, traffic deaths have been reduced. Back in 1990, the U.S. fatality rate was about 10 percent lower than in Canada and Australia. Today, we're 40 percent higher. Once Slovenia—between Austria and Croatia—had a 5-times higher death rate than the U.S. Today? Safer. In fact, the U.S. has the dubious honor of having the most dangerous roads in the industrial world. No wonder the younger generation is less interested in getting a driver's license and more interested in driverless cars than your dad/mom… or you. LESS INVOLVED The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has defined six levels of autonomous vehi- cles that require less driver involvement. Each level has a lot of hurdles that must be overcome—technical, cost, legislative, liability and public acceptance. That takes time and money. The majority of AVs in daily use today are Level 2 self-driving cars—they keep you in your lane of the highway, maintain the proper speed limit/car distance and respond when the vehicle ahead slows down and/ or resumes speed. As they move up the food chain, some AVs will change lanes for you if requested and prohibit the change when it isn't safe. Autonomous Vehicle Update These 'flashy' cars will be here later than promised, better than you thought. By Andy Marken Volvo Trucks is developing autonomous electric vehicles for repetitive transports between fixed hubs. (PRNews- foto/Volvo Trucks) Consumers are already thinking of the things they can do to make their time sitting in an AV in traffic more valuable. The film and TV industries are already targeting vehicles as the next room where they can show movies, programs and ads. Source - EV Obsession

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