Autonomous Vehicles, New Mobility & the Built Environment Wireless

Human Factors in Automation, DSRC vs. CV2X, Safety Leader & Market Leader – an Impromptu Mini-Panel

An impromptu mini-panel blossoms in front of Viodi’s video camera at the World Safety Summit on Autonomous Technology, as Princeton’s Dr. Alain Kornhauser leads a discussion with Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology for the U.S. Department of Transportation. As with all conferences, some of the best learnings and tidbits are discovered from the informal conversations in the hallways, like the one documented in our video.

A collage of the World Safety Summit conference.

And it is always educational and entertaining when Alain Kornhauser is given the microphone. He leads the discussion on mobility automation levels, vehicle to vehicle (and bike, pedestrian, infrastructure, etc.) communications, safety considerations and implications for the roadways. Highlights of this relatively lengthy discussion are outlined below (click on the timecodes below to go directly to that portion of the video).

02:10 – Discussion of how mobility automation levels should be communicated to the general public. Is it possible to safely implement partial automation? That is, can humans be an effective back-up to a computer, as some will ignore or be slow to react to warnings and then will either not be ready or over-react to an emergency?

06:29 – The idea of an intelligent, connected motorcycle helmet is brought up and this leads to a spirited conversation on V2X and the two different technical approaches of DSRC and CV2X (see this Viodi View interview for more on that topic). Furchtgott-Roth makes the argument that the government should not be mandating a technological approach. Furchtgott-Roth compares the two technologies to the smartphone ecosystem and the adoption in that ecosystem has occurred without a government mandate.

To her point, the market is already addressing the need to support both approaches, as, for example, Savari takes a middleware approach that serves as a bridge between DSRC and CV2X. While the focus of Autotalks, an Israeli integrated circuit technology provider, is to supply dual-mode chipsets that talk both languages eliminating the Beta-VHS metaphorical challenge.    ,

09:58Echoing Larry Burns, Kornhauser suggests that the safety leader will be the market leader. Safety is a necessary condition and one that the different players should be cooperating and not competing on the aspects of safety. He argues that, given that we are in the early stages of mobility automation, it is difficult to know how and what to regulate and, as such, regulators need to take a somewhat hands-off approach.

13:18 – Finally, based on an earlier comment by Furchtgott-Roth about a bicycle helmet that vibrates when traffic approaches, the question is asked about what road infrastructure improvements need to be made. Furchtgott-Roth suggests that highways will move towards a high occupancy lane approach. At the local street level, she suggests that drivers need better awareness of bicyclists. One simple thing that can be done without infrastructure changes is the “Dutch Reach” as Furchtgott-Roth demonstrates in the above video.

Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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