Daimler tests tech that lets a convoy of big rigs work in unison
The system relies on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, a Wi-Fi-like transmission medium that allows vehicles to send messages back and forth. The technology is already touted as a potential safety aid for passenger cars because the network can …
Daimler Trucks tests platooning systems on U.S. highwaysFleet Equipment Magazine
Daimler Trucks Tests Truck Platooning On Public Highways In The USAftermarketNews.com (AMN)
Daimler addresses platooning, electric trucks at NACV openingTruck News
all 21 news articles »
Daimler Trucks Tests Truck Platooning On Public Highways In The US
With this initiative, Daimler Trucks North America is reacting to an increasing customer interest in solutions for automated and connected driving in commercial transport. In a joint effort with fleet customers DTNA is working to understand how …
Daimler to test truck ‘platooning’ technology on US roadsReuters
DTNA reports on platooning demonstrations at Atlanta truck showThe Trucker
Daimler Trucks Outlines Vision for Electric Vehicles, Platooning, ConnectivityTransport Topics Online
Engadget –Digital Trends
all 20 news articles »
Why it matters to you
Adaptive cruise control is one of the most prolific driver-assist systems, but there is some confusion about what it actually does.
Cruise control is the grandparent of all driver aids. It’s been around for decades, but more recently it got a high-tech makeover. Adaptive cruise control can maintain a set speed like conventional cruise control, but it can also vary speed based on traffic flow. This technology can not only make cruise control more useful, it’s also a baby step toward autonomous driving.
What to look for
Adaptive cruise control is also known as dynamic radar cruise control or intelligent cruise control, and automakers have their own brand names for their systems. Regardless of the name, the basic idea is that a car can accelerate or decelerate automatically, based on what other cars around it are doing.
To do that, a car must be equipped with sensors that allow it to detect nearby vehicles and potential obstacles. Most adaptive cruise control systems use radar, although cameras and lidar (which works on the same principle as radar, but with light waves) can be used as well. You can often spot cameras mounted in the grille or behind the windshield; radar units usually sit behind flat plastic panels in the grille. The sensors communicate with a computer that controls the throttle and — sometimes — the brakes and steering.
A basic adaptive cruise control system will only handle acceleration and deceleration, usually by locking onto the car in front with sensors and keeping a set following distance and speed. Some automakers have begun bundling this capability with systems that can brake a car to a full stop, or that provide a limited amount of automated steering to keep the car centered in its lane.
Adaptive cruise control is at the center of the pile on of electronic driver aids that could form the basis for fully autonomous driving. Sensors like radar already deployed in adaptive cruise-control systems will be crucial to autonomous cars, and adaptive cruise control has kicked off the process of automating some parts of driving. We’re nowhere near fully autonomous driving yet, though, and it is important not to mistake adaptive cruise control and other related tech for full autonomy. These systems are designed to help the driver, not drive the car themselves.
This is one technology that cannot easily be retrofitted to an existing car. The complexity of adaptive cruise control systems puts them beyond the reach of the aftermarket. Considering that these systems can mean the difference between a car driving along and smashing into the back of another vehicle, concerns over liability will probably keep adaptive cruise control firmly within the domain of the original equipment manufacturers for the time being.
Who does it best?
It’s no surprise that an automaker known to be obsessed with safety was an early adopter of adaptive cruise control. Volvo was also one of the first automakers to pair the technology with autonomous emergency braking, allowing a car to both automatically follow a vehicle in front and brake if it encounters an obstacle. Volvo’s latest Pilot Assist II system also doesn’t need to track a vehicle ahead, can a keep a car centered in its lane, and can operate at speeds up to 80 mph.
Available on: S90 (standard), V90 (standard), V90 Cross Country (standard), XC90 (standard), and XC60 (Convenience Package).
Subaru’s EyeSight system uses cameras instead of radar, bringing down its cost and making installation of the hardware a bit easier. EyeSight bundles adaptive cruise control with lane-keep assist, a “pre-collision throttle management” feature that cuts the throttle ahead of an anticipated collision, and low-speed autonomous emergency braking.
Available on: Impreza (Premium trim), Crosstrek (Premium trim), WRX (Limited trim), Forester (Premium trim), Outback (Premium trim), and Legacy (Premium trim).
Mercedes offers one of the most comprehensive adaptive cruise control and driver-assistance suites of any automaker. Its latest Distronic Plus system can keep up with traffic, but also brake the car to a full stop in stop-and-go situations. The system will automatically resume driving if the stop is under three seconds; longer stops require a tap of the accelerator pedal or cruise control “resume” button. A steering-assist feature helps keep the car centered in its lane, and certain versions of the system can initiate lane changes
Available on: S-Class (Driver Assistance Package), E-Class (Premium 3 Package), C-Class (Premium Driver Assistance Package), CLS-Class (Driver Assistance Package), SL-Class (Driver Assistance Package), GLC-Class (Premium Driver Assistance Package), GLE-Class (Premium 3 Package), GLS-Class (Driver Assistance Package), and Mercedes-Maybach S650 4Matic (standard).
Tesla’s Autopilot system has attracted its share of controversy, and the name is a bit misleading considering that a human driver must be kept in the loop, but it’s still one of the most advanced systems of its kind. In addition to following traffic and automatically keeping a car in its lane, Autopilot can execute lane changes with the flick of a turn signal, and negotiate some highway off ramps. Tesla’s ability to pull data from cars using the system and launch over-the-air software updates means Autopilot has significant potential to improve over time.
Available on: Model S (optional extra), Model X (optional extra) and Model 3 (optional extra).
Best Self-Driving Tech Going Nowhere as Rules Stall Under Trump
Vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, known as V2V, are regarded as essential for fully automated travel, which could dramatically reduce traffic fatalities from around 40,000 in the U.S. last year. The tech enables cars to send signals back and …
Trump Slams the Brakes on Self-Driving CarsBloomberg
all 3 news articles »
Car and Driver (blog)
Traffic Jamming: In the 2019 Audi A8, We Let Automated–Driving Tech Take the Wheel
Car and Driver (blog)
Called Traffic Jam Pilot, it’s been specifically developed for SAE Level 3 automated driving—meaning that the driver no longer has to monitor the surroundings continuously and that the vehicle system will alert the driver when he or she needs to …
Braving traffic in a self-driving Audi so sophisticated it’s not legal yetDeathRattleSports.com
all 2 news articles »
Developing the systems that will safely unlock automation
Smart Cities Dive
The automated driving systems that will hit the road in the next few years must have much more sophisticated diagnostic systems, and a level of redundancy that has never before been implemented in mass-production vehicles. A so-called level 4 …
Volvo, Mercedes, Audi, Tesla and others already have cars on the road with a bunch of autonomous features. That includes full stop-and-go radar cruise control, lane centering, parking assistance and more; in fact, with all of its stuff activated, our latest long-term Mercedes E400 wagon is probably controlling more inputs than the driver under normal circumstances. But none of that makes a car “autonomous.”
Tesla calls its system Autopilot, to its own peril; Audi’s is called Traffic Jam Assist; and Volvo’s is DrivePilot. All of them turn the wheel, at least on the expressway, slow for stopping traffic and accelerate when it has cleared. Mercedes actually takes over in a panic situation with Evasive Steering Assist, which helps the driver safely avoid a spin during an emergency lane-change maneuver.
But there is an agreed-upon definition of “autonomous,” and it’s what manufacturers are working toward. There The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put out a paper in 2013 on the subject but abandoned its system for the SAE’s in 2016.
You know how frustrating it is when you press a button or turn a knob in your car and something doesn’t work as it should or doesn’t work at all.As we move into the era of self-driving …
Level 0—No Automation
The human driver is in charge full time of all aspects of the dynamic driving tasks, even when the car is enhanced by warning or intervention systems. This still describes almost all cars on the road today.
Level 1—Driver Assistance
This is when a driver is in control of either steering or acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment, with the expectation that the human driver performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task. This scenario basically covers current radar-based cruise control.
Level 2—Partial Automation
This level is when a “driving mode” controls both the steering and acceleration/deceleration, but the human driver “performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task.” That means the driver is still responsible for changing lanes, exiting freeways, making turns and such.
Level 3—Conditional Automation
This level is where the “automated driving system” monitors the driving environment. It controls the acceleration, braking and steering but expects that the human in control “will respond appropriately to a request to intervene.” This is where Autopilot on the Tesla Model S falls.
Passenger cars aren’t the only mode of transportation to which Tesla wants to give autonomous driving capabilities. The company aims to start testing its electric truck prototypes with autonomous …
Level 4—High Automation
Level 4 means that the system controls all aspects of the driving tasks, including when a driver doesn’t respond appropriately to requests to intervene. Recently, both Ford and Volvo have said they will offer a Level 4 car before 2021. We can’t say if those will be ride-sharing vehicles or in what cities they’ll be offered — it might just be around the Ford campus in Dearborn, Michigan.
Level 5—Full Automation
The car is operated full time by an automated driving system and all aspects of the dynamic driving tasks under all roadway and environmental conditions are controlled autonomously. This is what we’re really waiting for. Level 5 is when you can get in your car in the morning, tell it to drive to work and you can take a nap. No automaker has set a timeline for bringing a Level 5 car to market.
Until then, remember: Hands at 10 and 2 (or 9 and 3), heads up and eyes on the road.
The University of Michigan just conducted a study to see how humans react to autonomous cars avoiding crashes. Automatic braking was the top subject on the docket for said tests, the Detroit Free …