A fictional history

It’s Thursday afternoon in a rainy Gothenburg. Anna is running towards her car with her briefcase over her head, trying to shield herself from the rain.

The car door opens as she approaches and she quickly jumps in. She has just had a long, intense meeting so it’s nice to sit down by herself for a minute.

She tells the car that she’s going home and she starts the two hour drive. En route the car informs her that there is a queue to get out of Gothenburg so it will take an extra ten minutes. The car also notices that Anna is a bit stressed and unfocused and this impairs her driving. It proposes to activate the traffic jam assist, which Anna accepts. She reclines the seat a bit and uses the time to send an email to her colleagues with some thoughts she has from the meeting. She also calls home to tell her family when she expects to arrive at home. At this stage she is not as stressed, which is also noted by the car, and on approaching the highway it asks her whether she wants to drive by herself or if it should activate the highway assist function. Anna decides to drive by herself for a while.

After about half an hour the car informs her that she is getting fatigued and that it has started to affect her driving. It asks again if it should activate highway assist. It also informs Anna that a diner she has stopped in the past is only 10 minutes ahead. But, Anna wants to continue driving and ignores the warning.

Only a few minutes later a car in front brakes abruptly to exit the highway, however Anna is too tired to pay attention, but luckily her car is awake and smoothly activates the automatic emergency brake. This potentially critical situation prompts Anna to change her mind and she decides to stop for a coffee after all.

Before buying the coffee she reclines the seat and tells the car that she will rest for fifteen minutes. The car locks the doors, keeps the heat on, and after fifteen minutes it wakes her up again. She has her coffee in the car while the highway assist takes care of the driving. Twenty minutes from home she approaches the highway exit and since the car detects that Anna is now fit to drive it suggests that she can take over in a few minutes’ time. She agrees, adjusts the seat and drives the final stretch in manual mode.

By the time she is home Anna feels relaxed and well rested, despite the two hour “drive”. Luckily, it has also stopped raining so she has dinner with her family out on the lawn.

The story above is of course fictional, but it demonstrates human behaviour that occurs in every driving which may lead to critical situations and crashes. It also demonstrates how the use of Cooperative Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) and automated safety functions, together with unobstrusive driver monitoring, can compensate for human errors and enhance safety and driving comfort.

In order to achieve this goal, in ADAS&ME a holistic approach is taken, that considers automated driving in conjunction with information on driver state. The work is based around 7 Use Cases aiming to cover a large number of critical driving scenarios.