Luxury Coach & Transportation

August 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION AUGUST 2018 35 tonomous vehicles driving around the cities we live and work in today." Parking lots or garages could be rede- ployed, possibly as service or charging stations. Geo-fencing will mean cer- tain areas of cities have to be reconfig- ured for these vehicles. • Trust: "We've got to trust the technol- ogy," especially in light of past fatal ac- cidents involving Uber's radar system and Tesla's semi-autonomous technol- ogy, Jones said. • Ownership: "Will we own vehicles in the future? Young people are more likely to get a credit card with an app on their phones and use a ridesharing service, or use car sharing for week- ends when they will drive themselves." • Charging: "e charging infrastructure is pretty immature in many cases around the world." Jones suggested recharging lanes that provide a con- tinuous flow of electric current, or parking spots with charging plates. "I think there are lots of opportunities out there." • Data: One concern among luxury transportation operators is client privacy and confidentiality about every state in the U.S. and every coun- try around the world has different laws," which add to the complexity. • Education: ere's a massive challenge to educate the legislators and the pub- lic as to what it really means, Jones said, as well as educate the drivers and potential customers. "I wouldn't put my daughter in one of these cars today and send her off to school. e problem is we have humans in the equation as well who operate and use this. And in many cases they operate these level two systems the wrong way. Lawmakers need to understand the technology and they don't yet. So there's a lot of education the industry is trying to instill in the lawmakers around the world and in the U.S." • Insurance: How to figure out insur- ance and liability. "How will the pas- senger be insured? Who will be liable if there's an accident? Is it the OEM who built that car? Is it the technol- ogy supplier, or the one for radar and the cameras?" • Infrastructure: Autonomous vehicles will require revamped smart roads and signals. "It's hard to imagine au- sung, while buying in to support sup- ply chains such as battery products. "ey've already made acquisitions and are working together on different projects. ey all have the same aim to solve problems." He displayed a list of 50 companies worldwide pursuing auton- omous vehicle technology with permits for testing vehicles on the road either with or without a human driver. During his seven-and-a-half years in Palo Alto, Calif., Jones lived about half a mile from the Waymo offices, which is Google's self-driving car unit. He could see small test cars everywhere as local residents got used to interacting with the vehicles. Jones cited Waymo as the leading company in terms of the most miles driven on test runs. e company is working on building a platform that OEMs can adapt or install. "ey do in- tend to sell this platform and be a ride- sharing operator themselves. ey won't build their own cars." Vehicle autonomy will likely be first deployed in robo-taxis offering self- driven shared rides, Jones said. "ey'll be heavily used. e seats will be full as much as possible. When they're not taking people, they'll be be delivering goods around the city, 24/7, 365 days a week." You'll see OEMs partnering with some of these ridesharing companies and car sharing ones as well, where a user rents a car on an hourly basis and can pay for and access them via an app, Jones said. "e OEMs are building out their fleet management skills and expe- rience, and building up data to market. And many of the OEMs intend to launch their own robo-taxi fleets in the coming two years." Challenges And Obstacles Ahead Watch out for ongoing driverless proj- ects among the 50 companies to be canceled or delayed, said Jones, who doubts predictions of full vehicle au- tonomy by 2021. Level Four vehicles will remain low in numbers and relegated to the robo-taxis in a few cities as leg- islation, regulation, and technology get fully worked out. "e technology has to work and must be affordable and cheap enough to make it economically viable." Among challenges: • Regulations: "is is already a heavily regulated industry, so there's a long way to go before it's even legal to be on the road," Jones said. "So that means SIX LEVELS OF VEHICLE AUTONOMY • Zero: No automation at all. The vehicle has no control over itself. • Level One: A driver is in control of either steering or acceleration/ deceleration using information about the driving environment, with the expectation the human driver performs all remaining aspects of dynamic driving tasks. This would include radar-based cruise control. • Level Two: Two of the vehicle's functions are working together, such as the steering wheel with acceleration and braking. The car can be kept in a lane and a certain distance from the car in front. But the driver must have control over the vehicle. • Level Three: Requires a human taking over the control at some point when the vehicle can't figure out how to get around an obstacle, whatever it may be. "So how does the human get notified they need to take over and start handling?" Jones asked. "What is that human going to be doing when they're asked to take over? Are they going to be reading their phone? Are they going to be asleep? That is a really scary level the OEMs somewhat skip over and move straight to a level four solution." • Level Four: Geo-fenced scenario, such as a lane on a freeway, a central business district, or limited zone of movement. • Level Five: No steering wheel, no pedals. The vehicles could be driving around on their own with no human interaction and no humans inside the vehicle. "That is the ultimate level of autonomy, driving anywhere with no restrictions."

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