i3 - May/June 2017 - 23

For the consumer
to accept a selfdriving car, it has to
feel natural.

TEACHING
THE CAR
Of course, a self-driving car drives in the safest manner,
consistently. But that does not always translate to passenger
comfort. Although the vehicle may know it's in no danger
of sideswiping a truck in the adjacent lane, the people
involved may perceive the situation differently. So it's
the vehicle that should adjust to the human's sensibilities,
not vice versa.
"If we jump way into the future where every car is driven
autonomously, you can [anticipate] there are no street
lights. Cars will just go through intersections because they'll
all be managed and communicate with each other [to avoid
collisions]. But until that point," Shapiro says, "we absolutely need to build the self-driving car to drive like a human."
C TA . t e c h / i 3

At CES 2017
NVIDIA
introduced
AI co-pilot
technology,
which acts as
an in-vehicle
assistant,
monitoring
the driver
and 360
degrees
around the
vehicle.

While there's no way to hard
code this human-centric behavior into a self-driving vehicle
because every driving situation
is different, AI and "deep learning" enable the car to be trained
as they go.
"Self-driving cars in the early
years will be conservative drivers, but not fully human," says
Volvo's Coelingh. "Right now we
collect lots of statistics on how
people drive to find the driving
style of the safest drivers on the
road. How do they select their
speed, how do they choose their
accelerations...that kind of driving style we will mimic."
To that end, Volvo's Drive Me
project is field-testing a fleet
of autonomous-capable XC90
SUVs, placed with 100 families
in Gothenburg. The automaker
will draw direct comparisons
between the way vehicles are
manually driven and how they
perform in self-driving mode,
Coelingh says.
Driving like a human can be as
simple as avoiding a pothole by
moving over a lane rather than
staying on course, even if maintaining the driving path is safe,
notes Chris Schreiner, director
of the user experience and innovation practice at Strategy
Analytics in Newton, MA.
Schreiner says the research
firm has tested 13 features on
highway self-driving vehicles,
with consumers in the U.S. and
Germany, examining the transfer of control, trust issues, the
"naturalness of the driving experience" and other "fun, nitty
gritty UX things that go into
autonomous cars at the state
that they're in right now."
Certainly, automakers cannot
let their self-driving vehicles
acquire the unsafe habits of
an average driver. "But for the
consumer to accept a self-driving car, it has to feel natural,"
Schreiner concludes. "The sweet
spot is there, but it's going to
take a lot of effort and resources
to find where that spot is." ■
MAY/JUNE 2017

23


http://www.volvocars.com/intl/about/our-innovation-brands/intellisafe/autonomous-driving/drive-me http://www.volvocars.com/intl/about/our-innovation-brands/intellisafe/autonomous-driving/drive-me http://www.CTA.tech/i3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - May/June 2017

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