4. Legal maintenance of Autonomous Driving
The Government of Japan is aiming to commercialize Level 4 that is Level 3 with expressways and Level 4 fully automated driving within a limited area by Tokyo Olympics 2020, and legal development of the law regarding Autonomous driving is currently underway in Japan as well.
On March 8, 2019, we revised the Road Traffic Act (the Road Traffic Act) and the Road Transport Vehicle Act.
Drivers are still necessary in level 3 cars, but are able to completely shift "safety-critical functions" to the vehicle, under certain traffic or environmental conditions. It means that the driver is still present and will intervene if necessary, but is not required to monitor the situation in the same way it does for the previous levels.
Therefore, it may be safe to do other things while driving with the automatic driving system,
How well the system takes over, and whether there were no problems in taking over the system in the event of an accident, it may be difficult to draw the responsibility between the car manufacturer and the driver.
For this reason, some manufacturers have argued that it would be realistic for practical use to go ahead with a self-driving system with Level 2 and Level 4 pillars.
In addition, even if the technology of automatic driving has been developed, it is considered difficult to widely spread the technology of automatic driving unless social acceptability and legal issues are solved.
· Social acceptability
Here, we introduce "How fully automated cars are taken by people".
The social acceptability of fully Autonomous Driving vehicles differs from country to country.
According to the data from 2017, the number of consumers who feel "unsafe" in Japan is comparatively low when compared to the consumers in China.
ZMP continues its demonstration tests to improve the social acceptability of Autonomous Driving.
We carried out the first Autonomous Driving taxi service trials which is to be the first one in the world from 27th August to 8th September 2018 and the route was from Otemachi to Roppongi.
One of the customers who has ridden the car commented that, the sensor mounted vehicle gave us a safe and ease ride. Even though I was tensed in the beginning, I felt like I was riding a normal car only.
Various approaches are necessary for running automated vehicles in society and it is necessary to continue working on it from now on.
Along with the improvement of the technology and social acceptance of Autonomous Driving, another matter to be resolved is concerning legal maintenance.
In addition, not only legal maintenance but also traffic rules and enlightenment activities for vehicles driven by people and self-driving vehicles, insurance and guarantees in case of accidents, etc. There are various items to be addressed in order to realize the driving society.
In particular, in the case of Autonomous Driving the topic of the trolley problem is discussed.Whether an Autonomous vehicle be sacrificed at the expense of the passenger if the accident becomes inevitable, or should the pedestrian's life be protected or the passenger rather than the pedestrian, should we give priority to life? There are also cases where the control algorithm needs to be considered ethically.
Research on the "trolley problem" of Autonomous vehicles is going on.
5. Practical use time and approach
Here, we introduce the approaches of companies such as the development phase of Autonomous Driving technology of automakers and electric equipment manufacturers who develop Autonomous Driving technology.
5-1. Japanese company
1. Toyota Motor Corporation
With the aim of commercializing Toyota Motor in around 2020, Toyota Motor Corporation will conduct a demonstration experiment that automatically merging onto or exiting highways, maintaining or changing lanes, and maintaining inter-vehicle distances using the "Highway Teammate", a modified Lexus GS, features equipment that enables automated driving on highways from the on-ramp all the way through to the off-ramp.
There is a news that Honda has partnered with GM in the field of autonomous driving and will invest about 300 billion yen in technology development.
Honda is also working with Google, and seems to be an approach that utilizes external resources and promotes development.
When it comes to automatic driving in Japan, the image of Nissan Motor seems strong.
Nissan has developed leaf and skyline as a development vehicles and tests are being conducted centering on motorized vehicles.
Nissan's website shows public road tests of the latest Autonomous Driving test vehicles aimed at commercialization after 2020.
In addition, it is a company that is actively working on vehicles such as automatic parking and autopilots and some Autonomous Driving technologies.
Efforts towards fully Autonomous Driving
5-2. Overseas companies (Europe and US)
GM seems to be working on mass production of self-driving vehicles earlier than other companies, and is developing mass production of self-driving vehicle cruises.
GM, Honda, and GM Cruise start collaborating with the goal of transforming mobility using Autonomous Driving technology as a common goal. In addition, GM announces that it will release a car without a steering wheel and a pedal in 2019.
Mercedes-Benz has announced a concept car that will support the future of human and cargo transportation in crowded urban areas.
As a Vision series, we have released a series of autonomous driving vehicles, and in September we have announced an all-electric autonomous vehicle called Vision Urbanetic. The Urbanetic, however, is a body-swappable hybrid that can haul palettes, packages, or people, depending on when and where it's rolling.
Auto-driving car concept "Vision Urbanetic" = Source: Mercedes-Benz Press Release
BMW is developing automatic driving and seems to be promoting automatic driving using artificial intelligence (AI).
For the first time as an overseas automobile manufacturer, it has announced that it will obtain approval for public road testing of autonomous vehicles and participate in Baidu's autonomous driving development project.
Looking ahead, we will develop a platform for the realization of Level 3 and Level 4/5 and work on commercialization through a partnership with Baidu who is currently promoting the autonomous driving development project "Apollo".
Audi is an automotive OEM that is actively applying autonomous driving technology to commercial vehicles, and has been steadily researching and developing for the future autonomous driving society for more than 15 years.
The technology has been developed with the aim of a system that allows the car to run in a safe manner, reducing the burden on the driver under any circumstances, from urban areas to highways and circuit limit driving. The difference with other companies pursues the point that it can drive by automatic driving even in the limit driving,
Also on the circuit, we have also realized experimental cars that show performance similar to that of professional drivers.
Exhibition: Piloted Driving - The world of Autonomous Driving leading by Audi -
5. Google (Waymo)
Waymo’s mission is to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around. Although future development plans have not been clarified, it seems that the purpose is to build a safer driver model by repeating driving tests utilizing AI technology.
Ford is considering to launch a commercial service for fully automated vehicles that do not require a driver in 2021. To that end, we are promoting investments and partnerships in various technologies. In cooperation with other companies such as Velodyne, SAIPS, Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC, and Civil Maps, we aim to realize an Autonomous Driving vehicle of Level 4 or equivalent.
Tesla aims to realize Autonomous Driving technology using 360 ° monitor technology with camera and sensing technology with 12 ultrasonic sensors.
Recently, there are accidents occuring due to Autonomous Driving. Currently Tesla offers an option to install an Autonomous Driving system on existing vehicles, and if Autonomous Driving technology is established, it is thought that the spread of using OTA technology may be early.
Uber is famous for food delivery services but it is also a company well-known in the development of Autonomous Driving. It had suspended driving tests on public roads due to a fatal accident while driving automatically, but resumed safety testing in Pittsburgh from December 2018 in an effort to improve safety. Uber seems to be promoting joint development with Volvo, and if Autonomous Driving control meeting Volvo safety standards can be realized, it has the potential to become an Autonomous vehicle that more people can use with confidence.
Uber Self-Driving Cars Return to Pittsburgh Roads in Self-Driving
5-3 Overseas Companies (China)
Roadstar specializes in level 4 autonomous driving technologies, providing efficient autonomous driving solutions to future advanced transportation system using unique and robust multi-sensor fusion framework.Roadstar.ai has developed two key technologies, HeteroSync and DeepFusion. Integrating with multiple sensors including LiDARs, cameras, radars, GPS, IMU and so on, HeteroSync provides highly accurate time and spatial synchronization, real-time update and robust features extracted from the fused high-dimensional raw data. Taking the advantages of fused high-dimensional sensor data, DeepFusion produces a truly robust, efficient and safe Autonomous Driving solution.
Pony.ai is a startup based in Silicon Valley and Shenzhen with the mission to build the safest and most reliable self driving technology. A demonstration of fully Autonomous Driving is being conducted from July 2017. The release of PonyAlpha marks a significant milestone for China’s autonomous driving industry, representing the country’s first ever product-ready autonomous vehicle system. PonyAlpha, a full-stack self-driving solution, has achieved levels of stability and performance capable of sustaining a consumer ride-hailing fleet.
Pony.ai sensor equipped vehicle