Autonomous cars: how can we make them safe?

Autonomous cars will have some amazing technology under their hoods but one question always lingers, how can we sure that they will be safe on the road? As self-driving cars will need to make decisions of their own (that are much more complex than any car has to do today), technology needs to be improved to ensure safety.  Swedish company Semcon has put forward the research project, ESPLANADE, to help make self-driving cars safer by strengthening the communication between the car and its occupants. What’s needed, according to Semcon, is a common methodology of systems, functions and scenarios that will be used in every autonomous car. This way, when on the road every car will be on the same wavelength, which will help prevent misunderstandings and therefore, accidents. To put the vehicles through their paces a number of scientific work packages will be set up including:

·      Driver relations

·      Hazard analysis

·      Decision Hierarchies and architecture patterns   

The technology for fleets of autonomous cars may not be far away, but projects such as this demonstrate that there’s still a lot of work to be done before they’re used for day-to-day driving. With cars taking over responsibility from the driver there needs to be a set system for the car to follow and adhere to, just like the Highway Code we have for humans. Would you buy an autonomous car? Let us know in the comments below.


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