Do driverless cars really exist? Can we really avoid accidents? The truth of the false junior

While the Mercedes-Benz automotive group is preparing to market a “Drive Pilot” system, which allows the driver, in a very specific context, to stop looking at the road and let the vehicle decide whichœworks, teenagers participating in the Vrai du Faux Junior wonder about autonomous vehicles. Olivier Lascar answers them. He is the editor-in-chief of the digital section of Science et Avenir. It is published on June 9 Research by Elon Musk, the man who defies science (a Alisio Sciences). Elon Musk, head of Tesla, is positioning himself among other things in this niche of autonomous vehicles.

I felt like there was a car that could be driven alone. Is true ? Will we be able to sleep on the go soon?youCalliste asks.

Yes, it is true“, answers Olivier Lascar.”There are cars that drive alone today. It sounds amazing to say, but it’s even more amazing to see. There are videos available on YouTube of vehicles being driven in the United States, in a state called Arizona, and in a city called Phoenix. In this city, you can call the car with your mobile phone. The vehicle arrives and there we see that behind the steering wheel, there is no one, that the steering wheel turns alone, moves alone. The car is placed in front of the caller, the person sits in the back seat, the car starts, enters the traffic, stops at the traffic light. Respect the signs of signage and takes that person to their destination“.

The journalist specifies that it is only a matter, said this at this stage, of attempts, very experimental.

“I wonder if in the future we will replace today’s vehicles with autonomous vehicles?” Leandra asks.

Olivier Lascar responds that there are several degrees in the autonomy of a vehicle. Leading carmakers have agreed that there are six different levels. “The first levelexplain, level zero is what you can’t do on your own“In this case, only the pilot has the power.”The last level is level five. It’s the car that does it all by itself “.

The journalist explains that in this case, in fact, the driver has nothing else to do and could even sleep. “It is for exampleadd, the dream promised by Ella Musk, head of Tesla and who makes electric and automated cars. He regularly promises that we will get there and finally, year after year, we still don’t get there. “.

On the other hand, we are moving towards cars that, increasingly, have a certain degree of autonomy: in capacity, the journalist points out, “control your speed, stay strictly in your lanes. There are already cars on the market that you can buy, that will switch to automatic mode, for example, in traffic jams, or that are able to park almost alone. Olivier Lascar specifies that, even in these cases, the driver’s attention must be permanent, in order to be able to regain control of the vehicle at any time.

How can we avoid accidents with autonomous cars? What safety measures do manufacturers take?Elea asks.

That is the key question “replied Olivier Lascar.” There have been many car accidents in automated mode and the problem that ultimately arises is the degree of trust placed in these vehicles..

The journalist explains that, in Tesla, for example, the automatic driving mode is called “the autopilot“Which may suggest that the car is actually capable of driving on its own. However, he points out,” the brand itself, Tesla says the driver must be able to intervene in driving at any time. When you enter automated mode with a vehicle whose operation is called autopilot, you may be inattentive, react too slowly, and drama on the road may occur very quickly..

The journalist adds that, in other circumstances, the question of the performance of the vehicle itself may be raised. “An autonomous vehicle that is capable of evolving on the road by itselfexplain, it is equipped with sensors, eyes, ears, that is, cameras, ultrasonic sensors that are able to evaluate everything around it.. Does it work as well as this? Well, some accidents are still being investigated, which puts a veil on the efficiency of autonomous cars. “

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