Technology has forced people to innovate beyond what has been created today. Where all elements of life are infused with various kinds of the latest technology for the sake of efficiency or just for the sake of entertainment satisfaction only. Initially technology was only limited to assisting human work where humans themselves were unable to do so due to the limited ability of humans to do a job. But in today’s era, the creation of artificial intelligence allows a job to be completely replaced by a technology. Is this a progress or a setback? This article will focus on the use of artificial intelligence, especially in the field of transportation.
The definition of transportation can be interpreted as the transfer of goods and people from the place of origin to the destination. So with these activities, there are three things, namely the load being transported, the availability of vehicles as a means of transportation, and the presence of roads that can be traversed. The process of moving from the original place of movement, where transportation activities begin and to the destination where activities end. For this reason, with the transfer of goods and people, transportation is one of the sectors that can support economic activities (the promoting sector) and service providers (the servicing sector) for economic development.
The idea of autonomous vehicles has long been put forward in a variety of films or comics with the theme of science fiction. But, whether all the fantasy poured by the creator will become a reality? The transportation industry has innovated a lot in the last 30 years, both in terms of design, aerodynamics, and functionality. In this era, we have entered into a new world where humans do not need to drive their own vehicles, this is an autonomous vehicle.
Quote from BMW website, there are 5 levels of autonomous vehicle : :
- Driver Assistance : driver assistance systems support the driver, but do not take control.
- Partly Automated Driving : systems can also take control, but the driver remains responsible for operating the vehicle.
- Highly Automated Driving : in certain situations, the driver can disengage for the driving for extended periods of time.
- Full Automated Driving : the vehicle drives independently most of the time. The driver must remain able to drive, but can, for example, take a nap.
- Full Automation : the vehicles assumes all driving functions, the people in the vehicle are only passengers.
Driverless cars, including Google’s autonomous car design, have logged thousands of hours on American roads, but they are not yet commercially available on a large scale.
Autonomous cars use various kinds of technologies. They can be built with GPS sensing knowledge to help with navigation. They may use sensors and other equipment to avoid collisions. They also have the ability to use a range of technology known as augmented reality, where a vehicle displays information to drivers in new and innovative ways. Some suggest that significant autonomous car production could cause problems with existing auto insurance and traffic controls used for human-controlled cars. Significant research on autonomous vehicles is underway, not only in the U.S., but also in Europe and other parts of the world. According to some in the industry, it is only a matter of time before these kinds of advances allow us to outsource our daily commute to a computer.
At the same time, mass transit theories like Elon Musk’s “hyperloop” design contemplate a future world where more guided transport takes place in public transit systems, rather than with individual car-like vehicles.
Tesla Autopilot is an advanced driver-assistance system feature offered by Tesla that has lane centering, adaptive cruise control, self-parking, the ability to automatically change lanes, and the ability to summon the car to and from a garage or parking spot. As an upgrade to the base Autopilot’s capabilities, the company’s stated intent is to offer full self-driving (FSD) at a future time, acknowledging that legal, regulatory, and technical hurdles must be overcome to achieve this goal.
In 2016, a Tesla Model S T-boned a tractor trailer at full speed, killing its lone passenger instantly. It was running in Autosteer mode at the time, and neither the driver nor the car’s automatic braking system reacted before the crash. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated the incident, requested data from Tesla related to Autosteer safety, and eventually concluded that there wasn’t a safety-related defect in the vehicle’s design (PDF report).
But the NHTSA report went a step further. Based on the data that Tesla provided them, they noted that since the addition of Autosteer to Tesla’s confusingly named “Autopilot” suite of functions, the rate of crashes severe enough to deploy airbags declined by 40%. That’s a fantastic result.
Because it was so spectacular, a private company with a history of investigating automotive safety wanted to have a look at the data. The NHTSA refused because Tesla claimed that the data was a trade secret, so Quality Control Systems (QCS) filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to get the data on which the report was based. Nearly two years later, QCS eventually won.
Looking into the data, QCS concluded that crashes may have actually increased by as much as 60% on the addition of Autosteer, or maybe not at all. Anyway, the data provided the NHTSA was not sufficient, and had bizarre omissions, and the NHTSA has since retracted their safety claim. How did this NHTSA one-eighty happen? Can we learn anything from the report? And how does this all align with Tesla’s claim of better-than-average safety line up? We’ll dig into the numbers below.
But if nothing else, Tesla’s dramatic reversal of fortune should highlight the need for transparency in the safety numbers of self-driving and other advanced car technologies, something we’ve been calling for for years now. How is it possible that the NHTSA would conclude that Autosteer reduces crashes by 40% when it looks like it actually increases the rate of crashes by up to 60%? And what’s with this shady “up to” language? The short version of the QCS report could read like this: Tesla gave the NHTSA patchy, incomplete data, and the NHTSA made some assumptions about the missing data that were overwhelmingly favorable to Tesla, and fairly unlikely to reflect reality.
Crucially, none of the data about miles driven with Autosteer engaged have ever made it out of Tesla’s hands. What Tesla gave the NHTSA, and which they claimed represented a trade secret, was the mileage on the odometer before and after Autosteer was installed, the mileage on the car at last check, and whether or not there was an airbag deployment. From this, the most you can conclude is about the accident rate per mile of cars with Autosteer installed, rather than the rate of accidents per mile with Autosteer active. Only Tesla knows what percentage of miles are driven with Autosteer on, and they’re not telling, not even the government.