Thursday, September 29, 2022
Bringing the Latest in News Straight to Your Screen


Supercomputers On Wheels: Creating Safe, Smart Vehicles For Consumers

By News Creatives Authors , in Small Business , at October 13, 2021

CEO of actnano, a company setting new standards for electronics protection with its water and environmental resistant nanocoating technology

Our cars are getting smarter. Every year, they begin to look more and more like highly complex computer systems on wheels, but does smarter always mean safer? In addition to the redundancies and safeguards put into place for these vehicles of the future, there are other safety measures critical to the reliability of these systems, and not every method carries the same level of effectiveness.

According to Statista, safety is the most important factor considered when buying a new car. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that today’s cars are safer than ever before, thanks in part to the growing list of recommended technologies included in its 5-Star Safety Ratings program. New technologies and automated systems (those that occur without any direct input from the driver) have helped increase vehicle safety, which has significantly reduced fatality rates.

Behind these technologies is a growing list of electronic circuits performing complex functions to increase vehicle safety on the road. In fact, just five years ago, the average new car had less than 50 central processing units (CPUs). Today, that number has quadrupled to around 200 processors and sensors, and it only continues to grow. But how do we ensure that the safety measures themselves are, well, safe? Protection of the performance and reliability of these critical sensors and processors is a key factor in ensuring safety.

Consumer Sentiment Around Smart Vehicles

A 2019 Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 67% of survey respondents said self-driving cars should be held to higher safety standards than traditional cars. In a 2021 survey (conducted by YouGov on behalf of my company), of the 1,040 U.S. adult respondents, more than one-third claim that nothing will make them more trusting of autonomous driving vehicles. And, according to that same survey, ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) features and the protection of the critical electronics behind them are becoming more important considerations for buyers. This makes sense, considering the exponential growth of electronics on cars and the rate that these cars are controlling more systems independently, becoming more connected to each other and communicating with the environments around them.

ADAS systems are the initial step on the road to autonomous driving vehicles. Elements such as automatic brake detection, autonomous cruise control, lane keep assist and blind-spot monitoring are the most common features in new cars today. I believe that in the near future, our vehicles will more closely resemble self-driving cars.

The Partners for Automated Vehicle Education found that 75% of Americans who own vehicles with ADAS will feel safer on the road when they know that most other vehicles have enhanced safety features. However, there are many different and important aspects that factor into the safety features themselves. For example, to ensure ADAS and AV systems operate without failure, they need 100% protection from salt, condensation and humidity to protect the numerous sensors and processors that run them.

Winning The Consumer

Consumers want to know that their families will be safe on the road. To increase their trust in autonomous applications, the effectiveness of individual safety features must be proven. How can manufacturers do this? Manufacturers must be able to show that critical systems perform correctly even if an unexpected event should occur. Similar to the successful crash test dummy campaign in the 1980s, to earn trust, manufacturers must create awareness by demonstrating what happens in real-life scenarios with and without these protections.

For example, in the case of sensors and processors, what happens to vehicle performance when something as simple as an accidental coffee spill occurs? Keep in mind that a computer or laptop can fail when a liquid is spilled on it. So, manufacturers must be able to show us how these “computers on wheels” are protected and ensure that the lives of people and their loved ones are not put in jeopardy from this type of common occurrence.

Ensuring Safety On The Road

The need to improve passenger safety on the roads has been prevalent since the 1800s when roads were simply dirt paths with ruts worn from wagon wheels. There are dozens of agencies and companies working every day to improve vehicle and passenger safety. For example, NHTSA was established more than 50 years ago with a mission to “reduce deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.” General Motors’ corporate vision statement includes “zero crashes,” and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration is employing The Safe System, first adopted in Sweden as Vision Zero, where their goal is zero deaths.

Across the globe, motor vehicle safety is clearly a priority. As an industry, both the private sector and public automotive companies need to continue to push for innovative new products and technologies to further this charge. We must all embrace the mission of zero crashes and zero deaths. If we work together toward this common goal, we can make the roads a safer place.


Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?


Comments


Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published.