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Defining Safety For Shared Human/Computer Driver Responsibility

Event: AutoSens Detroit
| Published: 24th May 2023
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Hear from:

Philip Koopman
Associate Professor,

Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

Attention is shifting to high-end driver assistance as a more promising near-term path to deploying automation technology compared to robotaxis. Level 2+ and Level 3 driving features might be the end-state for at-scale series production for some time to come rather than a temporary stage on the way to Level 4/5 nirvana. With that type of vehicle automation, drivers are expected to pay some degree of attention and intervene to ensure safety when necessary.
Given the prospect of a mix of L2+ and L3 being on the roads for decades to come, it is more important than ever to consider the technical and social issues with these systems that push the boundaries of reasonable human driver cognitive performance and challenge legal notions of responsibility for crashes. This talk challenges the fundamental notion that steering automation should be treated as a driver assistance capability rather than as an automated driving feature. Re-grouping automation categories as to whether the driver’s role is driving, intervening when requested, or not paying attention at all could simplify explaining the technology to consumers, establishing reasonable regulations, reducing liability uncertainty, and ensuring public road safety.

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