Detecting and identifying objects was the first step in creating safe automated vehicles. But to make them truly safe enough to share the road with human and other autonomous vehicles, predicting the objects’ behavior is crucial.
Recently Volvo Trucks North America, along with automated vehicle software provider Perceptive Automata and customer Dependable Highway Express (DHE), showcased a collaborative innovation project designed to strengthen safety capabilities for the trucking industry through automation. This project leverages human intuition artificial intelligence that reads the intention and awareness of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists to enhance the situational awareness of truck drivers.
Volvo Trucks recognized the critical need for improved safety for all road users, specifically to augment situational awareness and better anticipate human behavior while on the road. The company developed a proof-of-concept together with Perceptive Automata and DHE which was successfully demonstrated at DHE headquarters in Ontario, California recently. At the event, attendees experienced Perceptive Automata’s artificial intelligence (AI) software on a Volvo VNR 300 regional-haul model. Attendees also got to observe the AI in action during live drives.
Volvo Group North America has been working with Perceptive Automata and DHE for eight months to develop the proof-of-concept. Perceptive focuses on understanding the state of mind of humans in our road environment. Its AI software ingests data from on-vehicle sensors and, like humans, assesses in real-time the likely intention and awareness of pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers by reading visual cues such as eye contact, posture, physical orientation, and head movements.
Increased safety is achieved through continuous 360-degree monitoring of human road users near the truck and, when warranted, signaling to the truck driver and on-board automated systems increased risk based on changes in human intention. This enables earlier preventive actions by the truck driver, supported by the truck’s automated systems, to reduce the likelihood of accidents and to help modulate the amount and severity of braking and acceleration.
Automation technology can enhance the situational awareness of truck drivers, reduce cognitive load and driver fatigue, and, ultimately, save lives. DHE provided real-world data from its fleet operations to enable the customization of the AI software for this specific application and showcased it at DHE’s Ontario, California site.
Source: Volvo Trucks North America