Newsletter of The New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation Inc.
Roadmarking News www.nzrf.co.nz Edition 123 February 2017
Special Feature: Autonomous vehicles The Jetsons lived in a futuristic utopia of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions. The Jetsons' world is our world: explosive technological advances, and a culture of enterprise that is very fond of the good life
increasingly the cause of vehicle trauma and death. The opportunity to replace the driver is a tempting opportunity.
The autonomous electric smart shuttle being trialled at Christchurch airport
1962 entertainment fiction is now our 2017 reality as autonomous vehicles become disruptive technology. In this issue of Roadmarking News we look at the technologies and their potential impact. A lot of the development work with autonomous vehicles has been undertaken not by the traditional automobile makers but by technology companies. They have recognised the opportunities that exist to either be a supplier of choice for existing auto manufacturers or see future vehicles incorporating electric, solar or hybrid engines rather than being petrol of diesel powered.
Operation of autonomous vehicles also involves ethical decisions and we look at some of the considerations that are being debated where an autonomous vehicle need to make a decision about risks to occupants and pedestrians or occupants of another vehicle. We look at developments with autonomous vehicles currently on the market or shortly to be available. We also look at how some roading authorities are undertaking supporting infrastructure development and others, including in New Zealand are undertaking trials. David Bennett appointed Associate Transport Minister
We look at the technology associated with autonomous vehicles, some where existing delineation devices such as roadmarkings play a vital role, others where these devices become redundant. Agencies managing roading and road safety have an interest in standardisation, while developers seek to secure a competitive advantage through differentiation in their developments.
Towards the end of 2016 several sitting National MP's indicated their decision to not stand for the 2017 general election.
Improved safety features in vehicles mean that errors of judgment on the part of drivers are
In the subsequent cabinet reshuffle Hon David Bennett was appointed Associate Transport
Published by: The New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation Inc. P O Box 13 605 Onehunga Auckland 1643 New Zealand Executive Director: Alister Harlow Phone: +64 9 625 7470 Email: email@example.com Roadmarking News in published by The NZ Roadmarkers Federation Inc. Opinions expressed in Roadmarking News do not necessarily reflect the views of the NZRF
Minister. David has been member for Hamilton East since 2005. He spoke at the Australasian Roadmarking Conference in Nelson in 2009.
Fletcher Construction awarded tender to build next section of Kapiti Expressway The NZ Transport Agency has awarded the contract for the construction of the 13 km Peka Peka to Ōtaki section of the Kāpiti Expressway to Fletcher Construction, with work on the ground set to get under way in mid-2017. “The tender process was extremely competitive, and the shortlist was assessed against a large number of criteria including overall cost, environmental management and community engagement,” Neil Walker, NZ Transport Agency Wellington Highway Manager says.
with a central barrier and grade separations throughout. It will improve safety, efficiency and journey reliability, while providing a more resilient route in the event of a natural disaster. Making travel for people and freight safer, more efficient and reliable will also support the region’s economic growth and productivity.
Road Safety barriers on Waikato expressway prove their worth Potential serious injury and death has been prevented at least 48 times in the year since the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway was opened. NZ Transport Agency figures show the flexible side and median road safety barriers have been struck 48 times. This figure is expected to fall substantially when the final asphalt surfacing is complete and audio-tactile line markings, also known as rumble strips, are added. The Transport Agency’s project delivery manager Peter Simcock says the flexible road safety barriers are highly effective in reducing deaths and injuries for all types of road users, including motorcyclists. “The flexible road safety barrier cables flex on impact slowing the vehicle down and pushing it back into its lane.
“Fletcher will now proceed with detailed design, environmental planning and other enabling works for the project. This will include further community consultation. Major construction activities are planned to start in mid-2017.
“We suspect many of these strikes on the safety barriers are caused by fatigue or inattention, and putting in the rumble strips is expected to reduce strikes and other potentially serious incidents,” Mr Simcock says.
“Fletcher and its partners will be able to build on the strong relationships they’ve forged with the community as part of the alliance constructing the Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway. We’re looking forward to a continuation of the collaborative approach they’ve become known for during that project,” Mr Walker says.
There is solid evidence to show that assumptions that flexible safety barriers have a ‘cheese cutter’ effect and increase risks for motorcyclists are unfounded.
The Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway forms a key part of the Wellington Northern Corridor, which is one of the Government’s roads of national significance. The Transmission Gully motorway, Mackays to Peka Peka and Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressways are the main infrastructural developments of the corridor. Once these projects are complete, the Wellington CBD will be linked to the northern Kāpiti Coast by around 80km of four-lane, motorway-quality road,
The evidence (referenced below) shows the opposite – that installing flexible road safety barriers can have a beneficial effect and actually reduce motorcycle casualties. This is because motorcyclists are more likely to survive an impact with a safety barrier than a crash with roadside hazards such as trees, poles and oncoming vehicles. The final seal is currently being applied with the section closest to urban Cambridge completed last month. Rumble strips can then be added. Contractors are now at the Tamahere end, with the whole 16km of the section likely to be completed in March.
The final surfacing is typically placed about a year after construction is completed and the road is opened to traffic. The Cambridge section opened last December, producing peak-hour time savings of up to 23 minutes for a daily return journey between south of Cambridge and Hamilton.
safety measures will improve the road to prevent crashes like these, and to make sure if a crash happens, people are less likely to be killed or seriously injured,” he says. The work is part of Safer Journeys, the government’s strategy to improve the safety of our roads. A $600 million programme is underway to make many rural routes on the State Highway network safer in the next six years. It aims to prevent 900 deaths and serious injuries through relatively simple measures such as rumble strips, shoulder widening, safety barriers, better signage and changes to speed limits.
Work underway to improve safety on two sections of the Waikato Expressway Latest traffic monitoring shows the northern part of the Cambridge section is used by about 22,000 vehicles a day and about 14,000 on the central section, with 7500 coming and going on to the old SH1 past the velodrome. Link to research and other information: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/roads-andrail/road-engineering/road-safetyhardware/flexible-road-safety-barriers
The $12 million project on State Highway 1 between Bombay and Hampton Downs will see flexible road safety barriers placed in the middle and sides of the Expressway and new rumble strips installed. The project will be completed towards the end of the year. SH1 is the main route between Auckland and Waikato and is used by around 22,000 vehicles per day, including freight operators, commuters and motorsport enthusiasts.
A project to improve safety for road users on a stretch of rural State Highway 34 west of Te Teko to Kawerau
The project is part of the Government’s $600 million Safe Roads and Roadsides programme. It is one of 19 underway in the Waikato.
The project will involve installing rumble strips on parts of the 100 km/h area, extending the existing safety barriers where there are steep banks, upgrading the barrier beneath the overbridge, upgrading some signage and removing trees.
Between 2010 and 2014 one person died and five people were seriously injured on the stretch of the highway between SH2 and Hampton Downs. On the section between Mill Rd and SH2, one person died and another was seriously injured during the same period.
The $540,000 project is scheduled to be complete by the end of March. The work is dependent on fine weather. The NZ Transport Agency’s Bay of Plenty State Highways Manager Niclas Johansson says the work will reduce the risk of crashes, make the stretch of road safer for people who travel on it and will provide a more forgiving environment for motorists who make mistakes when they are driving. “Two people died and 15 were seriously injured on this section of SH34, between 2005 and 2014. Most of the deaths and serious injuries on this road are caused by motorists running off the road and hitting trees, poles or deep ditches. These
The NZ Transport Agency Waikato State Highways Manager Niclas Johansson says the work will reduce the risk of crashes, make the stretch of road safer for people who travel on it and will provide a more forgiving environment for motorists who make mistakes when they are driving. 'The safety improvements we’re making to this busy and important highway are expected to reduce deaths and serious injuries on this stretch of Expressway. This work will also bring the safety standards on this stretch of highway closer to those of our newest sections of the Waikato Expressway.'
2016 road toll disappointing The provisional road toll for 2016 is 326, Associate Transport Minister David Bennett says. “The road toll is not just a number — every figure represents a life needlessly lost and family, friends and communities grieving. Our thoughts are with those that have lost loved ones on our roads over the past year” Mr Bennett says.
West vice president and director of Governance Studies and the founding director of the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings
Self-driving vehicles in China, Europe, Japan, Korea, and the United States “The car is one of the largest mobile devices out there,” Bridget Karlin of Intel
Provisional data for 2016 indicates 24 per cent of fatal crashes involved drivers travelling too fast for the conditions. Drugs and alcohol contributed to 40 per cent of fatal crashes, and 39 per cent of drivers and 42 per cent of passengers killed in car crashes were not wearing seatbelts. "The reasons why more people are killed or injured on our roads one year to the next are complex. But whatever the reason, the road toll remains too high, and the increase over the last three years is disappointing,” Mr Bennett says. “The Government is committed to making New Zealand roads safer and reducing the number of people injured and killed in crashes. “We’re continually investing in physical improvements such as median barriers, rumble strips and wide shoulders, as well as in road safety enforcement, advertising, and education campaigns. “Also, the Ministry of Transport has commissioned research to better understand the factors influencing the road toll. “Road users also have a responsibility to keep themselves and others safe. It is disappointing that the summer holiday road toll is already higher than the previous year so I encourage people to drive safely, be considerate of other drivers and follow the road rules.” “We have the whole year ahead of us, so let’s all do what we can to make sure the road toll is far lower than last year.”
Autonomous vehicles special feature In researching about autonomous vehicles a number of common themes and issues were highlighted. A very comprehensive discussion and fact summary has been put together by Darrell M.
Vehicles equipped with sensors and cameras navigate the streets of Mountain View, California; Austin, Texas; Kirkland, Washington; Dearborn, Michigan; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Beijing, China; Wuhu, China; Gothenburg, Sweden; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Suzu, Japan; Fujisawa, Japan; and Seoul, South Korea, among other places. Sophisticated on-board software integrates data from dozens of sources, analyzes this information in real-time, and automatically guides the car using high definition maps around possible dangers. People are used to thinking about vehicles from a transportation standpoint, but increasingly they have become large mobile devices with tremendous processing power. Experts estimate that “more than 100,000 data points” are generated by technology in a contemporary automobile. Advances in artificial intelligence (software that applies advanced computing to problem-solving) and deep learning (software analytics that learn from past experience) allow on-board computers connected to cloud processing platforms to integrate data instantly and proceed to desired destinations. With the emergence of 5G networks and the Internet of Things, these trends will harbour a new era of vehicle development. Between now and 2021, driverless cars will move into the marketplace and usher in a novel period.4 The World Economic Forum estimates that the digital transformation of the automotive industry will generate $67 billion in value for that sector and $3.1 trillion in societal benefits. That includes
improvements from autonomous vehicles, connected travellers, and the transportation enterprise ecosystem as a whole.
limitations on the analysis of peopleâ€™s movement and location because that information is vital to high definition mapping for autonomous vehicles.
This paper looks at different types of autonomous vehicles, shows their potential impact, and discusses the budgetary, policy, and regulatory issues raised by driverless cars and trucks. It argues that connected vehicles are likely to improve highway safety, alleviate traffic congestion, and reduce air pollution. However, to do that, designers must overcome obstacles such as poor infrastructure, bad weather, inadequate spectrum, hacking threats, and public acceptance.
In Japan and Korea, governments and car manufacturers have been cautious about autonomous vehicles. Firms such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Kia, and Hyundai are investing major resources. They are keeping track of what is happening in other countries and undertaking pilot projects. Yet they have to decide whether autonomous vehicles represent a high priority for them. If so, they should invest resources in artificial intelligence, high definition mapping, and data analytics, which are key to the future of this sector. Failure to do so means they will be left behind as the industry embraces autonomous vehicles in the coming years.
The technology to meet these barriers has advanced rapidly and is poised for commercial deployment. But to make progress, each country needs to address particular issues. There are budgetary, policy, legal, and regulatory concerns to resolve. In China, for example, the key is to develop a national policy framework for autonomous vehicles. It has multiple ministries which are responsible for the supervision of automatic driving (some with overlapping jurisdictions) and there needs to be greater clarity regarding who regulates and how they regulate. In addition, the government needs to invest in highway infrastructure for autonomous vehicles, eliminate the current national prohibition on road testing, and reduce restrictions on road map development so that car makers and software designers can devise the most accurate navigational guides. In Europe, the challenge is strengthening the artificial intelligence capability that is crucial to autonomous vehicles. One of the reasons why large technology firms such as Google in the United States and Baidu in China have moved into transportation is the opportunity to apply the processing insights and rapid learning capacity developed through search engine technology to a new sector. To be competitive in driverless vehicles, European auto manufacturers such as Audi, BMW (in collaboration with Intel), Volkswagen, Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo need people with strong artificial intelligence skills and high performance computing aptitude because car manufacturing no longer is about physical design as much as it is about software development and real-time data analytics. The European Union also needs to make sure that its data protection rules donâ€™t place overly-strict
In the United States, the major difficulty is overcoming the regulatory fragmentation caused by 50 states having differing preferences on licensing, car standards, regulation, and privacy protection. Right now, car manufacturers (such as Ford and General Motors) and software developers face conflicting rules and regulations in various states. This complicates innovation because makers want to build cars and trucks for a national or international market. There also needs to be greater clarity in regard to legal liability and data protection, and legislation to penalize the malicious disruption of autonomous vehicles. In each nation, government officials and business leaders have to resolve these matters because within a foreseeable period, the technology will have advanced to the point where intelligent vehicles will spread into key niches such as ridesharing, taxis, delivery truck, industrial applications, and transport for senior citizens and the disabled. People and businesses will have driverless options for taking them safely to their destinations, and it is important for leaders to provide reasonable guidance on how to commercialize advanced technologies in transportation. The complete research paper is available here
Self-driving cars: who's building them and how do they work? Volvo is testing driverless lorries to work underground and Google has autonomous cars on the road â€“ but what does it mean for the future of motoring?
From self-driving cars to robot lorries, autonomous vehicles are the future of road transportation. But who’s in pole position, who’s stuck in the pit lane and how far away is the starting grid?
Commercial goods vehicle manufacturers are also looking at autonomous trucks, which resemble traditional lorries, but could look more like a train or storage container on wheels.
How far along are we? Autonomous vehicles are already on our roads. At the cutting edge there are self-driving cars being tested in pilot programmes, and they are proving perfectly capable of motoring alongside human drivers. But beyond robotic cars, many high-end vehicles available today are already practically capable of driving themselves either under the guise of passenger safety or driver convenience.
Where are they doing testing? Google has been testing its self-driving cars, which have included modified Toyota Priuses, Lexus RX450h SUVs and a bespoke self-driving bubble car, on public roads in Nevada, Florida, California and Michigan since 2012.
Who’s doing it? In short, everyone. Google started work on the pioneering technology about eight years ago, helped by expert recruits from Stanford, but Uber, China’s Baidu and even Apple – if you believe the rumours – are working on self-driving technology. The automotive manufacturers aren’t sitting on their hands either. Elon Musk’s Tesla is working on the technology for its electric cars, while GM, Daimler, Volvo, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Audi and BMW are also developing solutions. What kinds of vehicles are they working on? Self-driving vehicles can take many forms. Most of the automotive manufacturers are looking to create cars very similar to those we already drive – for individual ownership but with the ability to drive themselves.
Uber recently began testing a self-driving car in Pittsburgh carrying passengers, with a human driver for backup. Volvo and several other car manufacturers have also performed limited tests on some public roads around Europe and the US, while Baidu partnered with BMW for limited testing in China. Large-scale testing, including Volvo’s 100-car test with members of the public on a Gothenburg commuter route, is scheduled to start next year. A version of that trial is expected to go ahead in the UK in 2018. The UK is expected to green-light trials on motorways from next year. Who’s leading the autonomous pack? Google is currently out in front, having driven more autonomous miles and collected more data than anyone else. But traditional car manufacturers are quickly catching up. It’s also unclear what Google’s intentions are. The company recently partnered with Fiat Chrysler to fit its self-driving technology into the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan, but its efforts to develop a bespoke self-driving car without a steering wheel or pedals point to an intention to develop cars on its own.
Others, including Google, are looking at creating cars that are either smaller and more compact, or larger and laid out without a traditional driver’s seat, turning the car’s cabin into a mobile lounge area. Other research has focused on autonomous vehicles replacing traditional buses and public transport shuttles. Some resemble tram cars without tracks. Other firms, including Uber, are trying to create vehicles that will eventually replace taxis.
Volvo has been working on self-driving technology under the guise of safety features for years, and has explored the idea of road trains for commercial vehicles, where a front lorry guides a convoy. What’s required to make a self-driving car work? The bulk of the technology required for self-driving cars is not all that futuristic, but it is the combination of different sensors with advanced computer vision systems that makes it work. Many of the vehicles use what is called Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) – a rotating laser, usually mounted on the roof, that continually scans the
environment around the car. Traditional radar is also used for detecting distances to objects and cars, as are various cameras, accelerometers, gyroscopes and GPS, which are all used in conjunction to build a 3D picture of the environment around the vehicle. The most complex part of a self-driving system is the software that collects the data, analyses it and actually drives the vehicle. It has to be capable of recognising and differentiating between cars, bikes, people, animals and other objects as well as the road surface, where the car is in relation to built-in maps and be able to react to an often unpredictable environment. Are there speed bumps ahead? There are several major hold-ups between the developmental prototypes and commercialisation of driverless technology. One of the biggest is the problem of ethics. Unlike a human who reacts instinctively in an emergency, an autonomous car will have to calculate and choose the appropriate response to each scenario, including possibly a choice between killing its occupants or other people.
control the car’s speed and steering to keep it in the middle of the lane, reacting to other cars and changing lanes on command. Volvo’s latest XC90 includes a raft of autonomous driving features, including lane assist, adaptive cruise control and a suite of automatic emergency systems that stop the car from pulling into oncoming traffic or from rear-ending cars.
Singapore starts trial of world's first selfdriving taxis The world's first self-driving taxis began picking up passengers in Singapore starting August 2016. Select members of the public can hail a free ride through their smartphones in taxis operated by nuTonomy, an autonomous vehicle software startup. While multiple companies, including Google and Volvo, have been testing self-driving cars on public roads for several years, nuTonomy says is the first to offer rides to the public. Its launch in Singapore is beating ride-hailing service Uber, which plans to offer rides in autonomous cars in Pittsburgh, by a few weeks.
Legislation must also be changed before selfdriving vehicles will be permitted on public roads beyond small tests, while insurers must decide who pays when an autonomous car inevitably has an accident. Further down the road another question will be whether, at the point when autonomous vehicles work and are safer than human drivers, we should ban human drivers? When are we going to be able to step into one? Many experts believe that full adoption of autonomous vehicles won’t happen until 2030, but some vehicles with self-driving capabilities are expected by 2020. Whether they are legal to drive everywhere or to drive without an occupant – to pick up a passenger or park themselves – remains to be seen. What’s available right now? No purely autonomous vehicles are available at present, but several with self-driving features are currently on our roads. Tesla’s Model S has an advanced cruise control feature called Autopilot, which uses cameras and radar to detect the car’s position in lane, the proximity of other cars and the speed limit. It can
NuTonomy is starting small - six cars now, growing to a dozen by the end of the year. The ultimate goal, company executives say, is to have a fully self-driving taxi fleet in Singapore by 2018, to help cut the number of cars on Singapore's congested roads. Eventually, the model could be adopted in cities around the world, nuTonomy hopes. For now, the taxis only run in a 2.5-square-mile business and residential district called "onenorth," and pick-ups and drop-offs are limited to specified locations. Riders must have an invitation from nuTonomy to use the service. The company says dozens have signed up for the launch, and it plans to expand that list to thousands of people within a few months. The cars - modified Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi iMiEV electrics - have a driver in front who is
prepared to take back the wheel and a researcher in back who watches the car's computers. Each car is fitted with six sets of Lidar - a detection system that uses lasers to operate like radar - including one that constantly spins on the roof. There are also two cameras on the dashboard to scan for obstacles and detect changes in traffic lights. The testing time-frame is open-ended, said nuTonomy chief executive Karl Iagnemma. Eventually, riders may start paying for the service, and more pick-up and drop-off points will be added. NuTonomy also is working on testing similar taxi services in other Asian cities, the U.S. and Europe. Doug Parker, nuTonomy's chief operating officer, said autonomous taxis could ultimately reduce the number of cars on Singapore's roads from 900,000 to 300,000. "When you are able to take that many cars off the road, it creates a lot of possibilities. You can create smaller roads, you can create much smaller car parks," Parker said. "I think it will change how people interact with the city." NuTonomy, a 50-person company with offices in Massachusetts and Singapore, was formed in 2013 by Iagnemma and Emilio Frazzoli, Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers who were studying robotics and developing autonomous vehicles for the Defense Department. Earlier this year, the company was the first to win approval from Singapore's government to test selfdriving cars in one-north. NuTonomy announced a research partnership with Singapore's Land Transport Authority
confronted with such decisions, we could just program those in and be done with it. However, there are a near infinite number of possible ethical problems, and within each one, the most ethical course of action can vary from person to person. Furthermore, it’s not just the passengers who have a say in how AVs behave, but also the manufacturers, and more likely than not, government regulators. To try to understand how users feel about the potential for AVs to make ethical decisions, JeanFrancois Bonnefon from CNRS in France, Azim Shariff from University of Oregon, and Iyad Rahwan from the MIT Media Lab conducted a series of online surveys, full of questions about AVs in ethical quandaries, as well as how ethical decisions made by AVs might influence the user’s perception of them. And like many ethical problems, the results reveal inherent contradictions that may make the adoption of AVs more difficult. Their paper, recently published in Science, shares the results of a series of Amazon Mechanical Turk surveys based on a set of trolley problem variations. The trolley problem, if you’re not familiar with it, is essentially this: A runaway trolley is headed towards a group of five people standing on the tracks. You are standing next to a lever, and if you pull this lever, the trolley will be switched onto a different track, with a single person standing on it. Do you pull the lever?
People want driverless cars with utilitarian ethics, unless they're a passenger At some point in the nearer-than-might-becomfortable future, an autonomous vehicle (AV) will find itself in a situation where something has gone wrong, and it has two options: either it can make a maneuver that will keep its passenger safe while putting a pedestrian at risk, or it can make a different maneuver that will keep the pedestrian safe while putting its passenger at risk. What an AV does in situations like these will depend on how it’s been programmed: in other words, what ethical choice its software tells it to make. If there were clear ethical rules that society could agree on about how AVs should behave when
The appeal of this problem for anyone studying ethics or morality is that it’s very easy to make slight changes to the scenario which result in a much different ethical question. One common variation is replacing the lever with a “fat man” that you have to push in front of the trolley to save the five people. Or, five people becomes ten
people, but the single person on the other track is a family member. Or, the five people are all elderly, and the single person is a child. Here are two examples from the paper, to give you a sense of some of the variations that the researchers were testing: A man is the sole passenger in an autonomous selfdriving vehicle travelling at the speed limit down a main road. Suddenly, 10 people appear ahead, in the direct path of the car. The car could be programmed to: swerve off to the side of road, where it will impact a barrier, killing the passenger but leaving the 10 pedestrians unharmed, or stay on its current path, where it will kill the 10 pedestrians, but the passenger will be unharmed. You and your child are in the car travelling at the speed limit down a main road on a bridge. Suddenly, 20 pedestrians appear ahead, in the direct path of the car. The car could be programmed to: swerve off to the side of road, where it will impact a barrier and plunge into the river, killing you and your child but leaving the pedestrians unharmed; or stay on your current path, where it will kill the 20 pedestrians, but you and your child will be unharmed. In total, the researchers conducted six online surveys of nearly 2000 people. Here’s a summary of what they found, taken from the paper: 76% of participants thought that it would be more moral for AVs to sacrifice one passenger rather than kill 10 pedestrians. They overwhelmingly expressed a moral preference for utilitarian AVs programmed to minimize the number of casualties [a utilitarian approach]. Participants’ approval of passenger sacrifice was even robust to treatments in which they had to imagine themselves and another person, particularly a family member, in the AV. Respondents indicated a significantly lower likelihood of buying the AV when they imagined the situation in which they and their family member would be sacrificed for the greater good. It appears that people praise utilitarian, self-sacrificing AVs and welcome them on the road, without actually wanting to buy one for themselves. People were reluctant to accept governmental regulation of utilitarian AVs. Participants were much less likely to consider purchasing an AV with such regulation than without. All of which leads to this conclusion:
“Although people tend to agree that everyone would be better off if AVs were utilitarian (in the sense of minimizing the number of casualties on the road), these same people have a personal incentive to ride in AVs that will protect them at all costs. Accordingly, if both self-protective and utilitarian AVs were allowed on the market, few people would be willing to ride in utilitarian AVs, even though they would prefer others to do so.” When confronted with situations where enforcing individual behaviour leads to a better global outcome, it’s often necessary for regulators to get involved. The researchers offer vaccines as an example: nobody really wants to get stuck with a needle, but if everybody does it, we’re all better off. In the context of driverless cars, this means that given the option, most people would choose to ride in or buy an AV that prioritizes their own personal safety above the safety of others, and consequently, car companies will be incentivized to sell cars programmed this way, which is why regulation might be necessary to achieve utilitarian ethics. Unfortunately, the study also shows that having the government regulate AVs to enforce utilitarian ethical decisions would therefore result in fewer people wanting to buy them, slowing the pace of adoption and leading to more traffic accidents anyway. It may be necessary to enforce the utilitarian ethics that most people want in general, but it’s not going to be popular for AV buyers. “Car-makers and regulators alike should be considering solutions to these obstacles,” the researchers helpfully suggest.
Driverless car in Tauranga A car drove itself down the Tauranga Eastern Link , with Tauranga MP Simon Bridges sitting in the back seat. The Volvo XC90 T8 SUV hybrid model travelled down the highway after Volvo, NZTA, the Ministry of Transport and the New Zealand Traffic Institute teamed up in Tauranga to show the self drive capabilities of a "level two" partial autonomous car. The car could accelerate, brake and steer on its own, but needed periodic small touches by the "driver" to indicate they were still there.
"What it means is that... The driver can get their hands off, put their feet back, and ride along," Mr Bridges said. After his drive, Mr Bridges said the benefits of autonomous cars could impact New Zealand roads in due course. "I think the main benefits of what we're seeing today is safety," he said. "We all think we're God's gift to driving but we're not, and the automation here will be much safer. We've got a road toll that's far too high, this is a silver bullet in that regard over time, not today, but over time."
Mr Bridges said the autonomous cars could improve efficiency on the roads meaning cars could drive closer and potentially faster. "We're at level two driving, but level four or five the driver really isn't needed. At level five there is no steering wheel." He estimated that in 10 years' time autonomous cars would be a percentage of the country's vehicle fleet, which at that time could be at a higher level of autonomy than level two, where drivers could sleep or read. However, this would mean policy changes and rules around driving would need to be looked into. "It gives the whole of government a chance to understand it and learn from it, and over time start tweaking our rules." Volvo director of product and revenue for Asia/Pacific Henrik Jarlebrall said the car would be best used while in queues or on highways. "The car we have today is semi-autonomous, so you could think of it as a highly advanced cruise control. It does all the distance control to the car in front of you, it also keeps you in the lane so does all the steering, but as a driver you are always in control.
Volvo general manager Coby Duggan said the demonstration was "seriously exciting", in terms of transport for New Zealand. "There are a number of brands slowly but surely playing in this space and I think it's going to be really exciting few years."
Japan's leaders want to make Tokyo a self-driving city for 2020 Olympics Japanese government and business leaders are working to outfit Tokyo for its 2020 Summer Games with perhaps the most ambitious strategy yet for Olympic transport: a self-driving vehicle force.
Japan's top automotive-tech houses begin the task of 3-D mapping the country's roadways to get them ready for autonomous vehicles Nikkei reports. Part of a government campaign to get self-driving cars really up-and-running before the 2020 summer games, the project seeks to build a multilayered "One Stop" map that features both the static and dynamic information needed for autonomous vehicles to navigate safely. Appointed by the Japanese Cabinet Office's CrossMinisterial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program, Tokyo-based Dynamic Map Planning will undertake the task of mapping out roadways in the highest detail to date (featuring such useful insights as curb location, lane height, and limits on turning), intended to be 20 times as precise as current maps, according to the Japan Times. The company will also lead the effort to equip Tokyo with digital infrastructure that will allow selfdriving vehicles to pick up on factors that can change or appear in their surroundings as often as every few minutes or even seconds, such as active roadwork, traffic lights, and passing cyclists.
Dynamic Map Planning's first step will be using its Mitsubishi-made surveying vehicle to map out approximately 186 miles of Japan's main expressways, after which the team will start tackling the country's remaining 789,000 miles of roads and 18,600 miles of expressways--work that should ultimately cost government and investors hundreds of millions of dollars. The collaboration comes as countries across Asia and Europe are increasing efforts to get public infrastructure automation-ready while self-steered vehicles continue hitting the road one after another. To accommodate the uniquely large Olympic-level crowds it will host in 2020, Japanese innovators and planning authorities have also begun pursuing options for autonomous public transit. DeNA's self-driving Robot Shuttles, for example, are now being tested at a park in Chiba, just outside Tokyo, near a large and popular mall, while designers at SoftBank hope to have self-driving buses on Japan's highways and country roads by 2019.
Self-driving cars could flip the auto insurance industry on its head As the driverless car gets closer to reality, so too does the dilemma of how to insure the car and its owner. The auto insurance industry faces upheaval in the next 25 years as the migration to autonomous safety features — and ultimately a self-driving car — shifts more of a car’s accident risk from the driver to the vehicle, analysts said. The number of accidents is expected to drop sharply because currently more than 90% of accidents are caused by driver error. That could lower insurance bills for consumers. The U.S. market for personal auto insurance policies, which currently generates $200 billion in premiums a year, could shrink substantially, some experts predict. “There are going to be dramatic changes,” said Joe Schneider, a managing director at KPMG who’s part of the accounting firm’s task force studying the issue. A number of cars already have collision-avoidance features, such as blind-spot detectors and frontend crash-warning systems. The auto industry and federal regulators also have agreed to equip nearly
every new car with automatic emergency braking systems within the next six years. KPMG estimates that over the next 25 years, the number of accidents could plunge 80% from current levels, which “will go right to the core of the business” of providing car insurance, said Jerry Albright, a KPMG principal also on the task force. Insurance bills aren’t coming down yet, but “over time do we think that is going to happen? Yes”. British company Adrian Flux Insurance Services this month launched what it said might be the first “driverless car policy” in the world.
The policy would cover existing cars using autonomous features such as self-parking and autopilot systems and would cover drivers for things such as satellite failures that disrupt the systems or hacking by outsiders. “We wanted to help provide confidence and clarity around the ongoing debate of ‘who is liable?’ ” Adrian Flux General Manager Gerry Bucke said in a statement. As that debate continues, analysts agree that consumers probably still will need insurance even if they one day own self-driving cars. If a tree falls on the car or it’s vandalized, for instance, they’ll need coverage.
Driverless electric vehicle at Christchurch Airport New Zealand's first fully autonomous electric vehicle has arrived at Christchurch International Airport. The driverless shuttle carries 15 passengers. The trial on the airport grounds initially restricted to private roads with no public present. The long-term aim is to move to public roads "once the safety case has been made" and all regulatory approvals are in place.
HMI Technologies brought the French-made Navya 15-person shuttle, which has no steering wheel, into New Zealand. Christchurch Airport general manager of corporate affairs Michael Singleton said last year when the trial was announced that the airport's interest centres on future plans for linking key areas around the airport campus.
"We hope to eventually see autonomous vehicles operating in and around the airport," he said. "Before that could happen, we want to understand the infrastructure and operating requirements for these vehicles, to understand the human/technology interface and to build the safety case for autonomous vehicles on our campus." Former Secretary for Transport, Martin Matthews is overseeing the trial. "Autonomous vehicles are coming, whether we are ready or not, so we are taking the initiative to be ready," he said. "Many people believe we are years away from seeing these vehicles on our roads, but I disagree. I believe they will be with us very soon, so it's important we understand what is required for them to operate safely here."
cost from A3 billion-A$4 billion/year. Around half of the cost of road crashes in New South Wales comes from providing hospital treatment for some 12,000 injured people/year.
Australia’s road safety crisis as crashes increase Increases in the numbers of road crashes and road deaths are giving cause for concern in Australia. The gain in the country’s road fatality rate is of note as it comes after a 40 year period in which those killed or seriously injured (KSI) have been reducing. Certain sections of the country’s road network have been identified as being of particular risk to drivers, with moves in hand to improve safety. The Australian Automobile Association has revealed that there were 15,339 crashes in the country that resulted in KSI incidents. In the period from January to September 2016 there were 1,273 road deaths in Australia, an increase of 86 over the same period in 2015. Meanwhile over 2,500 people were seriously injured in road crashes. Western Sydney’s Parramatta Road between Concord and the M7 Westlink has been identified as having the highest rate of serious crashes in the country. Carrying around 100,000 vehicles/day, it has high traffic volumes and there have been 788 serious crashes and six deaths on this stretch of road. Meanwhile there are four roads in Queensland figuring amongst Australia’s 10 most dangerous stretches and the M1 section from the Smith Street Motorway to the Logan Motorway suffered 19 road deaths and 563 serious crashes. As with the road link in Sydney, this is a high capacity route and carries some 137,000 vehicles/day.
Industry News The trial partners are working with University of Canterbury researchers and developers, as well as the Ministry of Transport and New Zealand Transport Agency.
Barbara Howarth leaves Downer
Australia’s road crashes present a major problem
Barbara's initial work in roadmarking from 1984 2001 was with Highways Marking - owned by Quinten Simpson where she held the position of Manager.
Road crashes in Australia are presenting a major problem for the health of the country’s population as well as its economy. According to data from the Australian Government road crashes hit the country’s economy annually to the tune of US$20.36 billion (A$27 billion). In New South Wales road crashes cost an estimated A$7 billion/year while in neighbouring Victoria crashes
Highways merged with Linemarking Systems and became Highways Systems. With that business in operation from 2001 - 2007. Highways Systems was jointly owned by Quinten Simpson and Richard Lane. For Highways, her role was General Manager responsible for Auckland and Wellington. That organisation became industry leaders, with a team of dedicated people.
In 2007 Highways was purchased by Downers, and were under the ITS umbrella until late 2015, when roadmarking was realigned with the maintenance division. Her role was Department Manager.
of vehicle tyre and road interface. We want to find better ways to improve the performance, sustainability, safety and reliability of the global road surface network. However, it's not only the road surface but also cycleway, pedestrian footways, delineation and how they interrelate to play an important role in delivering a Safe System approach." The conference alternates between the northern and southern hemispheres every three years, so the opportunity to attend the conference here is New Zealand makes it attractive in both the opportunity to hear from and talk to key international experts from the sector, it also makes the conference very cost effective. Registrations have so far come in from 12 different countries and the organizing committee is expecting upwards of 300 attendees.
Barbara comments " I have had the pleasure of working with a team of dedicated, well skilled and thoroughly professional group of people for over 30 years. What a journey, and my deepest appreciation to all in the industry, for the many memories, friendships and humour."
Record interest in upcoming SaferRoads Conference A record number of papers and abstracts have been submitted for the 5th International SaferRoads conference being held in Auckland this May. "We've had a huge number of abstracts submitted, both from New Zealand and internationally," says organizing committee chair Mark Owen. "Nearly 80 abstracts have been submitted with over a third coming from overseas." Auckland's Viaduct Events Centre is playing host to one of the world's key road safety events when the triennial International SaferRoads conference comes to New Zealand this May. This year's conference has a wider scope than previous years. "The conference began with a focus on skid resistance but has since grown to be a forum to promote the diverse range of activities associated with road surfaces, and the role they play in safety," says Mark. "In broadening the scope our aim is to attract a wide range of road owners, practitioners and those associated with maintaining and operating road networks. We also want to include those involved in the development
"We are aiming to be leading edge, using the latest technologies, with a forum to share ideas and continue the significant gains we have made to date in reducing road trauma." Please register your interest to be kept informed on latest information on the programme, activities and key speakers at www.saferroads.co.nz Upcoming Events ATSSA 47th Annual Convention and Exhibition Phoenix Exhibition Centre, Arizona 10th to 14th February 2017 www.atssa.com Traffex International Exhibition National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham 4-6 April 2017 www.traffex.com Safer Roads Conference 21-24 May 2017 Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland www.saferroads.co.nz 2017 NZRF/RIAA Conference and Exhibition Distinction Hotel, Hamilton 23rd and 24th August 2017 www.nzrf.co.nz
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