TRUCKERS WATCH THIS PICTURE: So, when you think that the automation of the trucks will arrive to your routes? For example * Australia
* DRIVERS DON'T WORRY: AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES STILL FAR INTO THE FUTURE
(Picture: The levels, as seen above, run from zero to five, with zero involving no automation and five offering full automation)
--- While efforts are being made in this domain, self-driving vehicles may not become a reality in Australia soon. Here’s why... First, the laws lag, and we don’t appear to have the infrastructure either... And as the table shows, the major shift really occurs between Level 2 and 3, when the dynamic driving task goes from being controlled by the driver, to being controlled by the automated driving system... In Australia, there is some grey area around what level of autonomy is legally allowed, whether it’s a Level 2 or 3... Currently, there are a number of Level 2 autonomous vehicles operating around the country, but there aren’t any Level 3 vehicles outside of authorised trials... Technically, Level 3 is permitted, because there is a human ‘Fallback Performance of Dynamic Driving Task’ which essentially means a driver has to be able to intervene if the system requires it to do so. However, this means the person needs to be in control, with their hands on the wheel and in a fit condition... The laws permitting the use of a Level 3 autonomous vehicle weren’t really developed to be inclusive of self-driving cars, but as it stands, they’re driveable down under... To take things up a notch, Uber’s purchase of autonomous truck manufacturer Otto, who appears to be using Volvo trucks to develop their technology, meant the company was able to put a truck on the road capable of Level 4... The truck successfully transported 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer 120 miles from the brewery in Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, USA... While this truck achieved full Level 4 autonomy, with the driver out of the front seat altogether, it only did it on the motorway... Regardless, it’s still proof that as high as Level 4 automation can be achieved for the highway, which is where a lot of interstate drivers down under spend most of their time... Other manufactures are also pushing forward in the autonomous truck space, with Scania and Volvo both using driverless trucks in mines using both remote-control functionality and autonomous technology... Scania is also set to design a full-scale four-truck autonomous platooning operation using public roads in Singapore... We’re likely to see a host of Level 2 trucks enter the national fleet over the coming years, but how long Level 3 is going to take is unknown...
Sidney, NSW, Australia - ATN, by Cobey Bartels - 1st March 2017