DENSO ADAS / AD 安心できる、自動運転

松ヶ谷和沖×島下泰久

#5Joy and comfort of driving in the automated driving era

Discussion involving automated driving always reaches the question of ‘Will automated driving deprive joy of driving?’For automated driving to be accepted in the society, not only safety and comfort but also joy of driving is important.Serious consideration has to be given also from that perspective.

One idea is to make the assistance level variable, not just choosing between full automation and thorough manual driving.For example, when the driver doesn’t want to take control in heavy traffic or being extremely tired, they can let the system do the job. If the driver feels like driving, they can choose to do it on their own discretion.While in the manual mode, the electronic control of the vehicle ensures safe driving by assisting the driver in case of danger.Even for active driving lovers, such a system will surely broaden their dreams about automated driving.

Joy of driving is also affected by HMI.In the Level 3 autonomy, the system can automatically accelerates, decelerates and steer, but the driver has to take over control whenever the system requests to do so. If they can feel the joy of driving even while they aren’t actually controlling the vehicle, they can keep their alertness without falling asleep.So, the important thing to think about is, ‘What is this ‘joy’ made of?’Is it the sound, vibration, G you feel from your car or scenery? Suppose you are in the train or airplane. You don’t fall asleep when you are really enjoying the time even if you aren’t behind the wheel.Some hints may be hidden in those human behaviors.

Another aspect of joy we should examine is comfort.Driving should be comfortable for occupants, and that may require the whole new idea for seats and cabin environments.

Furthermore, we need to allow for the fact that automated driving vehicles can’t totally eliminate traffic accidents.To avoid collisions, sudden deceleration or steering may be necessary.How can occupants be restrained at a critical moment?In the cabin of automated driving vehicles occupants’ posture will be widely varied.How can the system restrain occupants who may be facing sideways or backward in case of emergency?

The concept of joy and comfort of driving will gradually change in the automated driving era.Consideration not only on technical feasibility but also on those concepts will be required to gain social acceptance of automated driving.