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Driverless cars: Levels of automation and the barrier of ‘human factors’

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Driverless cars: Levels of automation and the barrier of ‘human factors’

This story was first published in 2015. As we move closer to a future where autonomous driving technology is expected to feature more and more in new cars, we felt a revisit of the basics is in order. Click here for our most recent stories on autonomous driving...

Recent Posts
Audi AI:ME Concept teased for Shanghai
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Audi AI:ME Concept teased for Shanghai

Audi has teased an autonomous concept car for the Shanghai motor show, continuing the theme laid out by last year's Aicon and Elaine show cars. Based on the sketches you see here, the AI:ME is a smaller interpretation of the autonomous design language debuted on the two concepts mentioned earlier. The nose has a similar scowling look, while the rear is pert and upright...


Automotive 'black box' recorders could become mandatory in Europe
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Automotive 'black box' recorders could become mandatory in Europe

The European Union Parliament will next month vote to make pre-crash 'black box' data recorders and potentially life-saving active safety technology mandatory on new vehicles sold after 2022. In yesterday's vote, the EU Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) approved plans to make autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, intelligent speed assist and lane-keeping assist mandatory on all new cars sold from 2022...


2021 BMW iNext testing begins
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2021 BMW iNext testing begins

BMW has teased its upcoming pure-electric, autonomous crossover, the iNext, as it gears up to being production in 2021. That's right, 2021. The plug-in technology showcase was teased by a distinctive concept last year, with a suitably eye-catching exterior and a cabin inspired by a "modern, high-end living space"...


Lagonda All-Terrain Concept teased
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Lagonda All-Terrain Concept teased

Lagonda will reveal its second concept car at the 2019 Geneva motor show, designed to offer a glimpse of how its fully-electric off-roader will look. The new All-Terrain Concept will be the first production Lagonda. It appears to be a raised version of the autonomous concept unveiled last year in Geneva...


Jaguar Land Rover using light projection for autonomous communication
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Jaguar Land Rover using light projection for autonomous communication

Jaguar Land Rover has charged ahead with development of another left-field way for self-driving cars to communicate with the world around them. The company last year released a self-driving pod with giant eyes, designed to make pedestrians feel more comfortable interacting with the vehicle, and has followed up with a test vehicle using light projection to indicate its intentions...


Bosch automated trial coming to regional Victoria
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Bosch automated trial coming to regional Victoria

Bosch will later this year test its self-driving Tesla Model S on rural roads in Victoria, as it looks to refine its autonomous technology in a new environment. Backed by $2.3 million in government funding and the first autonomous driving permit granted in Victoria, the trial kicks off "late in 2019" on country highways...


Mercedes-Benz: Autonomous cars to be region-specific
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Mercedes-Benz: Autonomous cars to be region-specific

Mercedes-Benz says that the use of full autonomous cars in the future will likely be region specific, meaning certain cars will be designed and engineered for certain areas, which will see them unable to operate autonomously in other regions...


Audi Flying Taxi Concept unveiled in Amsterdam
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Audi Flying Taxi Concept unveiled in Amsterdam

Audi, in conjunction with Airbus and Italdesign has presented an operational prototype of Pop.Up Next, its flying taxi concept. Pop.Up Next is essentially a hybrid between a drone and an autonomous car. The idea is the system has a ground module and a drone module. A separate passenger compartment can be transported by, and passed between, both transport modules...


How self-driving cars will change... sex
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How self-driving cars will change... sex

Self-driving cars are promising change the way our cities are laid out, how we commute, and how car manufacturers sell their products. According to a report from the USA, they're also going to change sex. Speaking with Fast Company, Scott Cohen, deputy director of research of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey, said autonomous vehicles will "provide new forms of competition for hotels and restaurants" when they arrive...


Daimler, Bosch teaming up for San Jose autonomy trials
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Daimler, Bosch teaming up for San Jose autonomy trials

Bosch and Daimler are joining forces for level four and five automated vehicle trials in San Jose, California, set to start in the second half of 2019. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding with the city, flagging an on-demand ride-hailing service set to be offered to a "selected user community" in the San Carlos/Stevens Creek corridor...


Roborace: Autonomous race series won't be fully-autonomous to start
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Roborace: Autonomous race series won't be fully-autonomous to start

Roborace has been in the works for a while now, promising to revolutionise racing by removing the driver. Turns out, the revolution won't happen overnight though, with the series CEO revealing season one will involve a combination of conventional and autonomous racing. Speaking with Motosport...


Autopilot makes driver reactions up to three times slower - study
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Autopilot makes driver reactions up to three times slower - study

There have been a number of high-profile crashes involving Tesla Autopilot in 2018, caused by drivers overestimating the semi-autonomous assistance system's capabilities. We know leaning heavily on Level Two automation is risky, but exactly how risky is tough to quantify. A team of Australian researchers is trying to do just that, however, as part of a study into driver attention and semi-autonomous vehicles...


EasyMile: Level 5 autonomy could still be 8-10 years away
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EasyMile: Level 5 autonomy could still be 8-10 years away

As the push towards autonomous vehicles accelerates, car manufacturers are ramping up their claims about what their self-driving cars will be able to do, and when they'll be able to do it. General Motors wants to have a vehicle without pedals or a steering wheel on the road by 2019, while Ford says it'll be building self-driving cars at 'scale' by 2021...


As automation spreads, drivers need to get smarter - expert
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As automation spreads, drivers need to get smarter - expert

  More work needs to be done teaching drivers about the semi-autonomous features offered on modern vehicles, especially as we move from level two automation towards levels three and four. Speaking with CarAdvice at the International Driverless Vehicle Summit (IDVS), Dr...


Autonomous shuttle trial headed for rural South Australia
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Autonomous shuttle trial headed for rural South Australia

A new autonomous trial focusing on elderly and mobility-impaired people is headed to regional South Australia, in a push to show how self-driving cars can operate in a rural environment. The trial will take place in Renmark, around three hours north-east of Adelaide, and was this morning announced by Stephan Knoll, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government in South Australia at the International Driverless Vehicle Summit (IDVS)...


Volkswagen launching autonomous ride-hailing service
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Volkswagen launching autonomous ride-hailing service

Volkswagen will launch an autonomous, electric ride-hailing service in 2019, as part of a partnership with Mobileye and Champion Motors in Israel. The pure-electric cars will come from Volkswagen, a plug-and-play Level 4 autonomous kit is being supplied by Mobileye, and Champion Motors will manage the fleet control centre...


Federal inquiry into Australian automated mass-transit announced
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Federal inquiry into Australian automated mass-transit announced

A new inquiry into the use of automation in mass-transit systems around Australia has been announced, as the Infrastructure, Transport and Cities Committee looks to make public transport "better, stronger and faster" going forward. The inquiry, which will also investigate the role new fuel sources like hydrogen and electric power can play on road, rail and point-to-point delivery vehicles going forward, is accepting submissions until December 7, 2018...


Semi-autonomous systems significantly increase repair costs - study
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Semi-autonomous systems significantly increase repair costs - study

Modern cars are safer than ever before, but the complex sensors and cameras required to make features like autonomous emergency braking and lane-keeping assist work can be seriously costly to fix. That's according to a new report from the North American AAA, which found minor accidents damaging only the bumpers, door mirrors or windscreen can cost up to US$3000 ($4200) more when semi-autonomous technology is involved...


Autonomy could improve efficiency of Victorian roads by 91 per cent - study
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Autonomy could improve efficiency of Victorian roads by 91 per cent - study

Infrastructure Victoria has revealed its advice on what's needed to support the rollout of highly-automated and zero-emissions vehicles, arguing autonomy could improve the efficiency of our roads by 91 per cent...