Are we nearly there yet? Safety challenges on the path to autonomy

How will we deliver ADAS and autonomous vehicles and ensure the safety of the new systems they require? The IET delivered a panel on the safety challenges on the path to autonomy at the Active Safety Europe 2016: “ADAS to Autonomous” Munich, Germany. Panellists from Tata Motors European Technical Centre, HORIBA MIRA Ltd, and Jaguar Land Rover explained how we will demonstrate the technology maturity, reliability and safety of the software required for automated driving.

This conference was coordinated by TU Automotive on the 17th and 18th May. There were a variety of speakers discussing a wide range of topics around the theme of “ADAS to Autonomous”. The IET was able to host a session at the end of the first day where Edith Holland (Jaguar Land Rover) and David Ward (MIRA) presented papers following an introduction from Mark Basten (Tata Motors European Technical Centre).
Image of a lecture with Sector logos on the screen The conference began with a sequence of papers describing the current status of Euro NCAP safety requirements relating to ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and the trends for implementation of further features through to 2020. A number of insurance companies described the relative effectiveness of these features, with AEB (Automatic Emergency Braking) in particular showing signs of giving a real marked improvement in the number of accidents where people are killed or seriously injured (KSI).

It was noted in several papers that the journey from the existing ADAS features through to vehicles with higher levels of autonomy was going to be a complex one that would present engineering with many challenges. In addition the legislative and legal frameworks in which these autonomous systems operate would need to be further refined and responsibilities for harm when errors occur will require detailed clarification

The IET session offered us the opportunity to present the IET organisation and in particular the role of the Transport Sector within the IET. Within the field of autonomous vehicles it was possible for the IET to compare and contrast the methods, architectures and functions that implement autonomous vehicle control between the rail, aerospace, marine and automotive industries. Each industry presents its own unique challenges, however some lessons could carry across between these industries. Mark Basten presented a number of these observations to the conference.

This was then followed by Edith Holland’s paper entitled “From Advanced to Automated Safety Challenges from an OEM’s point of view”. Then in turn David Ward presented his paper entitled “The implementation challenges of highly automated driving systems”.

A summary of these papers, written by their authors, are below. The papers were well received and were followed by a question and answer session before the conference drew to a close.

From Advanced to Automated Safety Challenges from an OEM’s point of view
By Edith Holland, Lead Engineer – Functional Safety EESE, Software & Systems Engineering Jaguar Land Rover

The implementation challenges of highly automated driving systems
By Dr David Ward, Senior Technical Manager, Functional Safety, HORIBA MIRA Ltd

If you couldn’t make the conference you can view the IET panel session presentations and listen to the audio from the panel here:

View the presentations
Listen to the audio 
Watch the IET.tv video