Driver-assist systems: Could they make crashes a thing of the past?

driverassistIn the not-too-distant future, your car will warn you if you’re getting drowsy, remember where potholes are on your route home, and apply the brakes at intersections. Advanced driver-assist systems combined with “big data” are moving us quickly to this day—offering the possibility to greatly reduce crashes or even make them a thing of the past.

At the CTS Fall Luncheon on December 3, Luca Delgrossi, director of driver assistance and chassis systems at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, offered his perspective of new developments in this innovative technology.

Delgrossi said the next generation of driving technology focuses on preventing crashes altogether with the use of richer sets of sensors covering a broader space around cars, as well as new actuators that can control the vehicle. Sophisticated in-car networks exchange data from one component to another, creating more powerful systems as well as system redundancy for reliability.

There are many other opportunities to help drivers who are distracted or facing a complex situation. One system, for example, would help drivers stay awake during long trips. It builds a profile from data collected in the first 20 minutes; during the rest of the trip, it checks to see if the driver is deviating from this pattern—and if so, gives an alert to take a break.

Delgrossi also touched on the potential for vehicles to share data with each other, such as warnings of icy roads ahead.

Ultimately, the goal of the upcoming technology is to avoid crashes by allowing cars to take more and more control.

“Hands-off driving is coming,” Delgrossi said. “We need to bring technology to perfection to do this. That’s what the industry is working on. We will see progress in the next five to seven years.

Read the full article in the January issue of Catalyst.

Posted in Events, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Intelligent vehicles, Safety

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