The dream of fully autonomous Level 5 vehicles is not far from realization. Top automakers have various predictions ranging from later this year up to next decade for when they might be hitting the roads. These vehicles have the long-term potential to disrupt the entire transportation industry, all the way from individual personal vehicles to trucking fleets operating in an expansive supply chain. Plus autonomous vehicles can be aligned with the trend of mobility as a service; for example, the rise in popularity of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft could eventually lead to robo-taxis.
Dassault Systèmes is helping to realize this dream. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is closely involved in accelerating the time to market for many autonomous vehicle manufacturers including both established automotive veterans and start-ups alike. Dassault Systèmes software can simulate different scenarios on the road, then the results can be incorporated into the vehicle design and production process for additional safety. Using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, motor manufacturers are able to better design, produce, test and maintain driverless cars.
There are many reasons why autonomous vehicle technology is an appealing option, first and foremost – it promises to reduce vehicle injuries and fatalities due to human driver error. The statistics on human drivers show there is serious room for improvement on the safety front. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 94 percent of crashes involve human error, meaning that this technology has the potential to save lives. There are also many distracted, drowsy, inebriated or simply inept human drivers on the roads today and the consequences are serious. The artificial intelligence built into the current driving systems has a great deal of room to expand and may eventually help to deal with the unpredictability of human drivers who will likely still be on the roads for the foreseeable future. Also from a sustainability perspective, autonomous vehicles can be designed to be more fuel-efficient and reduce traffic congestion.
There is the final hurdle of infrastructure development that needs to take place before there can be a full roll out of AV technology. For instance, there could be geofencing put in place to assist vehicles in navigation as well as more robust IoT connectivity to traffic lights and road signage. For drivers, not needing to concentrate on the road opens up valuable extra time for work and relaxation. In turn this might expand the range that people decide to travel for their job, vacation or even allow them greater access to more distant healthcare facilities. Three hours in the car might be more appealing if the occupant can sleep, read, or catch up on their favorite streaming show.
Read more on The Future of Connected Cars and if you are interested in learning more watch the CES 2020: Key Takeaways on the Future of Mobility.