WAt a leading industry event in Melbourne this week, who is responsible in the event of an autonomous car accident – the driver or the vehicle itself – was at the fore.
As a panel of experts at the Autonomous Vehicle Technology Conference (APAC21) discussed a key safety issue facing industry and policymakers, attendees were eager to hear the answers.
Speaking during the event’s trials, policy and regulation panel, James Hurnell, policy director of crash test authority ANCAP, said the industry and others were looking closely at the issue.
“I know that’s an important question to consider in terms of what we call ‘highly automated vehicles’ — vehicles that operate at levels three or higher,” he said.
“The important thing is whether the vehicle is under control at that moment. [in a crash]. There is a concept called Automated ADC, an entity that will be responsible for the vehicle when it is operating in automated mode. This is my understanding.
“I think the car companies are looking at how to do it. [how to differentiate between car and driver] Also and oh, then it becomes very important with whether it’s an OEM product or an aftermarket product, because then it becomes really difficult to handle.”
Samantha Cockfield, head of road safety at TAC, added that the issue was less consequential for her organization because TAC already insures the vehicle rather than the individual.
“For TAC we actually insure a vehicle and not an individual. So the issue of your knowledge, who’s in charge, doesn’t matter much. But I think in any case where the driver The pass is still control, you really have to say the driver still has to actually be the end point for it,” he said.
“But, I mean, we’re really looking at the timing and, in particular, as an insurance scheme, working with manufacturers rather than individual drivers in relation to fault.”
At the conference, representatives from Ford Australia’s ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) division asked what to do in scenarios where people overestimate the capabilities of a low-end AV system and whether it could lead to road accidents. Increases, referring to it Recent examples in the US have found drivers trying to trick a car into believing a human was in control when they weren’t.
Responding to the concerns, Cockfield said: “I think, you know, as long as I’ve been in human safety, which is almost 30 years, I’ve talked about the coming of vehicle technology. , that people would just assume that cars can do more. This happened with ABS when it was introduced as well.
“We’re definitely going to need some educational enforcement,” Harnall said. “As we do with any technology introduction. Let’s not be blinded by all the benefits we could potentially get because of some bad cases. What we’re seeing in our rating system That is, what information is provided to the driver, how they engage with the vehicle.
“So it’s how the vehicle, the manufacturer, promotes and names the system, how the information is delivered to the driver or the vehicle owner, and then how the vehicle owner engages with the system. At that point we drive monitoring. Evaluating the system, which is basically assessing whether the vehicle is making sure the driver is still engaged.
“I picked up a new car three weeks ago and as I was driving home, I was playing with the touch screen and the next thing I know it says to me, ‘You’re not paying attention, are you?’ You want to back off? You’re tired?’ So that the technology exists and helps people who are making a real mistake. There are people who are going out to beat the system, like we have now with people driving with their system intoxicated. Going out of your way to run or speed.
Over the past few years, the National Transport Commission (NTC), which has been tasked with leading a range of transport reforms from jurisdictions across Australia, has been working on the subject to complete deregulation. – including repealing over 700 existing laws.
Although there is no final date in sight for the completion of this work, the NTC says it is in place and a discussion on the sub-issue of powers to communicate and respond to law enforcement agencies is scheduled for July this year. The paper has been published. Road safety risks of automated vehicles. Earlier this year, transport ministers across the country agreed to introduce new legislation by the end of this year, with a national law in place by 2026.
It is worth noting that other countries are in various stages of developing regulations for automated vehicles, but no jurisdiction yet has a complete system of regulation in place.
Based on research conducted by the NTC in recent years, it is expected that the new national law will establish that an automated driving system entity (ADSE) is legally in control of the vehicle when the automated functions are operating. are – but that the fallback-ready user must be alert enough to respond to requests and failures, and regain control when necessary.
There are currently five levels of autonomous driving. Under Level One, the car simply accelerates or brakes for you but you remain in full control, like with cruise control. In level two, it’s very similar but slightly advanced, like automatic reverse parking and again you’re in charge and you need to react to the environment.
Level three things get interesting, which is where much of this discussion starts to be relevant. The car does everything for you but only under certain conditions such as a certain speed, weather or time of day and the driver must be able to take over immediately upon request. Level four is similar, but the human does nothing during the vehicle’s journey and only needs to take responsibility at other times.
Full automation comes in at level five, which means the car does everything a person does.
Other issues raised at the conference included the ongoing protection of ADS throughout the life of a vehicle and who is responsible for it, and how it affects car insurance claims.
Again, the NTC reforms to enable those injured or killed in an automated vehicle accident to have access to the same level of care, treatment, benefits and compensation as those involved in an accident involving a vehicle controlled by a human driver. is preparing
Transport ministers agreed in August 2019 on a national approach to automated vehicle insurance that requires existing motor accident injury insurance schemes to provide cover for automated vehicle accident injuries. The ministers were asked to join a working group to consider the policy issues and report on the progress.