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Making autonomous vehicles safer

NEVS is a leading Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer (and formerly Saab Automobile), is working on its own autonomous vehicle. A decision has been taken to use Phantom Auto’s teleoperation safety technology. This is with a view to manufacturing a safe electric autonomous vehicle.

Development steps for autonomous cars:

1. Cruise control.
2. Traffic-sensitive cruise control for both steering and speed.
3. Self-driving, but with a human available to take over if needed.
4. No driver needed, under the right conditions.
5. No driver needed ever.

Autonomous cars promise a great deal in functionality for the user experience and the idea of a self-driving car appears to hit a high interest level with many consumers. However, an overriding question for driverless cars is how safe is safe enough?

So far there has been crashes involving Ubers in Arizona, a Tesla in “autopilot” mode in Florida and several others in California. Each one has had an explanation, often attributed to a programming fault rather than limitations with the technology per se. However, these are sufficient to place doubts in the minds of some consumers and regulators.

This means car manufacturers have to work harder in order to instil public confidence in the emerging technology.

With the new partnership, Phantom Auto, who are located in Silicon Valley, California, U.S, have a system that allows for a remote human operator to drive an autonomous vehicle when it encounters a scenario which the self-driving car cannot handle on its own. This enables the safe and rapid deployment of the car.

Through this, NEVS is aiming to become a pioneer in vehicle mobility and to challenge more established rivals. As Stefan Tilk, CEO of NEVS, comments to TechCrunch: “Our AVs must be able to drive from any point A to any point B, which means driving through all edge cases they experience on the road, such as inclement weather, road work, and any other road obstructions.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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