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18 September 2019

Falling asleep in an AV… but what happens next?

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

Sleeping while a driverless car speeds you to your destination has long been touted as the dream of the new technology – and something of a nightmare for safety campaigners.

A new video from the BBC shows exactly what happens if a driver falls asleep in an autonomous vehicle (AV).

In the filmed test, the AV prompts the driver to resume control when approaching roadworks on a motorway. When the driver fails to act, the vehicle comes to a halt and automatically parks in a lay-by.

Motor industry research organisation Thatcham Research wants this capability to be mandatory in autonomous systems.

Thatcham’s Matthew Avery says: “Vehicle manufacturers are advocating that its fine for the vehicle to stop in lane. We simply don’t think that’s safe. We say that vehicle manufacturers mustn’t leave a vehicle in the middle of the lane. If the driver doesn’t respond, pull the vehicle over, out of the running traffic.”

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