Volvo leads in “Knowing the driver”
Volvo’s research may indicate that we approached ADAS the wrong way. Over the past few weeks, Volvo has begun to reveal some details about an all-electric replacement for the XC90 SUV, dubbed the EX90. As expected from the Swedish brand, safety comes first. While we’ve known for over a year that the car now known as the EX90 will feature a more powerful set of external sensors, including a lidar developed by Luminar, what really caught my attention was the system understands the driver.
By 2022, driver monitoring systems (DMS) are no longer the only ones. General Motors fitted an infrared camera to ensure the driver was aware of the road when it launched the “hands-free” Super Cruise in 2017. Similar DMSs are now found on vehicles from many manufacturers, including Ford, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Nissan, and Toyotas. DMS currently on the market only looks at the driver’s eyes and head position to detect visual distractions such as looking at the phone, infotainment screen, or passengers.
Volvo’s announcement indicates that the EX90’s DMS will also look for cognitive distraction, meaning where the driver’s eyes are on the road, but their mind may be elsewhere. We’ve all had situations, especially during a long drive, when you suddenly realized you couldn’t remember the last minutes of the ride. This can be dangerous.
But according to Mikael Ljung-Aust, a cognitive scientist at Volvo, vehicles don’t always need to intervene in such cases. Ljung-Aust and his colleagues conducted a series of experiments over several years to understand driver behavior and responses to various inputs. It turns out that much of a driver’s job consists of automated responses:
As drivers become more experienced, they react to most situations without consciously thinking about them, just as we don’t really think about the motion of walking while driving. other things.
Natural driving research has shown that over time, a driver’s eye movements and gaze patterns are surprisingly consistent; In a behavioral bounding box, the driver can reliably respond to almost any driving situation. So, to decide when to warn the driver or otherwise intervene, Volvo’s Driver Understanding system will instead look for eye and head movements that deviate from expected behavior.
Interestingly, the goal of driver understanding is not necessarily for the system to intervene earlier or more often, but rather later and less often. Numerous studies have shown that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are so persistent or intrusive to drivers that they frequently disable the system. Lane-keeping assist systems are a common source of complaints for drivers – and often turned off.
Situations, where a driver cannot recover from a mistake, are indeed rare, which is consistent with the mileage-per-crash statistics. There are more than 3.2 trillion miles driven each year in the United States and about 6.5 million accidents, or one every 30 years for the average driver. However, if the ADAS features are disabled, they certainly cannot help in the rare cases when it is needed.
Toyota halts production in Japan following a cyber attack on a supplier.
A supplier to an automaker shut down its computer network in response to a hack. A Toyota plant near Nagoya, Japan, in 2017. The Toyota shutdown announced on Monday affects 14 Toyota plants in the country and will affect the production of 13,000 vehicles.
A Toyota factory near Nagoya, Japan in 2017. The Toyota shutdown announced Monday involves Toyota’s 14 national plants and will affect the production of 13,000 vehicles. Copyright…Franck Robichon/European Press Photo Agency
TOKYO — Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, said Tuesday it will restart production in Japan after a cyberattack on a major supplier forced it to halt domestic production. The outage comes after a problem with the computer system of Kojima Industries, an auto parts maker, disrupted the company’s control system. A company spokesperson said the problem first surfaced on Saturday night and the company has decided to shut down its computer network to prevent the problem from spreading to customers.
Government officials confirmed on Tuesday that Kojima Industries had suffered a cyber attack. The company’s website remained unavailable as of Tuesday afternoon. During a regular press conference on Tuesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the government was investigating the source of the attack and warned companies to step up cybersecurity in light of the ongoing conflict in the Philippines. Ukraine.
Japanese companies have been slow to update their networks to account for the increasing use of ransomware by criminals, as well as infiltration by state actors. Manufacturers are the most common targets of attacks, which can essentially hold valuable computer systems and data hostage.
Like many other automakers, Toyota has had to drastically cut production after the pandemic ravaged global supply chains, leading to shortages of semiconductors and other components. Last year, after the first wave of the virus passed and global auto demand surged, Toyota announced an optimistic plan to produce 9.3 million units worldwide by March 31, the end date. end the exercise.
But surging demand for semiconductors and a resurgent wave of infections forced the company to cut those plans first to 9 million and then, in February, to 8.5 million.
Even before the problems at Kojima Industries, Toyota had planned to temporarily close in March at several factories in Japan due to a shortage of parts.
The Toyota shutdown announced Monday has affected 14 Toyota plants in the country and affected the production of 13,000 vehicles, a Toyota spokesman said. In a statement, the company said it would restart production on Wednesday. Despite the setbacks, Toyota has used lessons learned from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan in 2011 to better adapt to the disruption of the pandemic than its competitors. , leading in global auto sales for two consecutive years.
Hino, a Toyota subsidiary that makes heavy-duty trucks and buses, said in a statement on Monday that it would also halt production at two plants due to problems at an unknown supplier.