The global boss of BMW has joined the growing chorus of auto industry executives to voice their concerns about the development of advanced semi-autonomous driving systems.
The head of bmw Global believes that too much responsibility is placed on car brands and technology providers to develop the next level of advanced driver assistance systems – and they could be held liable if things go wrong.
In conversation with the German electric car magazine Edriver – also reported by BMW blog – bmw CEO Oliver Zipse said automakers will be more liable than before for serious injuries and fatal accidents as future semi-autonomous technologies seek to enable less trust in drivers.
“The car is not an iPhone on wheels,” said Mr. Zipse Edriver.
“A ‘Level 3’ system (semi-autonomous system), whether at 60, 80 or 120 kilometers per hour, which switches off constantly in the tunnel, switches off when it rains, switches off when it’s dark, switches off when it’s foggy – what does that mean? No customer buys it.
“Nobody wants to be in the shoes of a manufacturer who, during the adhesion phase, misinterprets a traffic situation, for example when control is handed back to the driver. We don’t take any risks.”
The auto industry introduces different tiers of driver assistance technology referred to as Tier One, Tier Two, Tier Three, Tier Four and Tier Five, the latter defining a car capable of taking complete control and the vehicle technical Seen no steering wheel needed.
While reliable Level Five technology is still more than a decade away – maybe even longer – most automakers currently have either Level One driver assistance, while some manufacturers are in the early stages of introducing Level Two or Level Three.
MORE: BMW’s autonomous cars won’t make life-or-death decisions
As explained in our guide to autonomous cars, advanced Level 3 driver assistance systems allow the car to take full control of itself on motorways, allowing the driver to take their hands off the wheel for brief periods when the technology is ideally active Conditions.
While most countries, including Australia, have approved less capable Level 2 autonomous driving systems for use – consisting of technologies such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking – some automakers are campaigning for “Level 3 systems to be on public roads worldwide.” be allowed.
In April 2022, BMW’s new 7 Series flagship sedan was unveiled with a Level 3 driver assistance system – marketed as “Autobahn Assist”.
The advanced driver assistance system, which will roll out in certain European countries later this year, will only work at speeds of up to 60km/h – prompting the driver to take over if they encounter a scenario they can’t handle, and a brief warning to man.
The federal government granted autonomy level 3 approval in December 2021, resulting in Mercedes-Benz offering its “Drive Pilot” autonomous driving technology to customers in May 2022.
Level 3 driver assistance technology is not yet approved for use on Australian roads, however a modified Mercedes-Benz S-Class with added lidar and radar sensors has been spied on several times near Sydney in early 2022. The automaker later confirmed this for a number of international studies.
In June 2022, a draft amendment proposed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) proposed that autonomous cars be allowed to travel at speeds of up to 130 km/h, more than double the existing 60 km/h limit.
In October 2022, a study conducted by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) claimed that drivers do not understand the limitations of driver assistance systems, leading to a higher risk of accidents on the road.
As previously reported, between July 2021 and June 2022, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 392 accidents involving vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, six of which were fatal.
The post-BMW boss says next-level driver-assistance technology could hit the legal speed hump that first appeared on Drive.
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