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First OEM Level 2 Autonomous Trucks Are Being Deployed

Firm client Covenant Transportation has recently added Level 2 autonomous trucks. The Freightliner Cascadia has electronic steering, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, pedestrian warning, collision avoidance, intelligent high beams and active brake assist. The “Detroit Assurance” system in the truck collects, shares and validates safety-related information by tracking up to 40 objects simultaneously up to 660 feet away and reporting information about six vehicles in the truck’s path – their distance, velocity, width, lateral offset, type and confidence level – while the Video Radar Decision Unit (VRDU) refreshes the speed, distance, and time calculations 200 times per second. (more…)

Another Alliance Forms in the AV Space

At the ADAS & Autonomous Vehicles USA conference in Detroit on September 25, I spoke about some previously unusual alliances being formed in the car industry to tackle AVs, such as those between Ford and VW, Mercedes and BMW, and several heavy truck manufacturers. And now, we have another one. On September 27, 2019, Japanese carmakers Toyota and Subaru announced a “new business and capital alliance” to develop what they are calling “CASE” (connected, autonomous/automated, shared, and electric) vehicles. The two companies had previously announced a joint venture to develop battery electric vehicles using Subaru’s all-wheel drive technology (which is on all Subaru vehicles) and Toyota’s vehicle electrification technologies. (more…)

Florida Opens Its Roads to Driverless Vehicles

On June 13, Florida enacted legislation allowing cars without human drivers to begin operating on its roads. While Michigan and Texas also allow cars without human drivers to some degree, Florida has gone one step further, by prohibiting local regulations that differ from state law, essentially making all of Florida’s roads fair game for testing AVs. (more…)

Limitations of Current Semi-Autonomous Vehicles Misunderstood

According to a recent IIHS study, 27 percent of people surveyed thought it was acceptable to remove your hands from the steering wheel of L2 systems found on Supercruise-equipped Cadillacs. 48 percent thought it was acceptable to do so on Autopilot-equipped Teslas. And a startling six percent thought it was acceptable to take a nap while Autopilot was active. (more…)

Eleven Companies Propose Guiding Principles for Self-Driving Vehicles

On July 2, 2019, 11 companies (Aptiv, Audi, Baidu, BMW, Continental, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Here, Infineon, Intel, and Volkswagen) published a 157-page whitepaper (“Safety First For Automated Driving“) describing a framework for the development, testing, and validation of “safe” autonomous vehicles. The whitepaper summarizes the various levels of automated driving with the goal of developing a baseline that might one day become an industry standard. (more…)