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2020年11月14日 (土)

Evaluation of automated driving communication method by driving simulator (1)

​Next, let's look at the mix of manual and automated driving issue. ​What's wrong with the mix of manual and automated driving? How do you communicate with other drivers during normal driving? You can think of the blinker when you turn right and left at the intersection or change lanes, the passing when you want to pass, the thank you hazard, the horn, etc. These are also implemented in automated driving vehicles, and there are no particular problems. ​However, communication without using the vehicle's blinker, hazard, passing, or horn becomes a problem. ​That is, how the automated driving vehicle can show what the driver has shown to other traffic with gestures and facial expressions. ​Level 5 automated driving vehicles don't have drivers. ​Perhaps all the windows in the automated driving vehicle are smoked so you can't see inside. ​Under these circumstances, if the automated driving vehicle starts to slow in front of a pedestrian who wants to cross the road, the pedestrian might not know whether the vehicle want to tell the pedestrian to cross or just slow down for some reason.

​In the past, large trucks were equipped with speed indicators to inform pedestrians about the condition of the trucks in Japan, if not as a tool for communication between vehicles and pedestrians. ​This was a triplet of lamps mounted on the top of the truck windshield, and the number of lamps on the green varied with speed. The speed indicator lights are all turned off when the truck is stopped, and one light is automatically turned on at speeds of 40 km/h or less, two lights are automatically turned on at speeds of 40 km/h to 60 km/h or less, and three lights are automatically turned on at speeds of 60 km/h or more. ​Pedestrians can know the speed of the truck by looking at the number of the speed indicator lights of the truck coming from a distance. It was useful as a primitive form of vehicle-pedestrian communication tool. ​However, it was abolished in 1999 because it would become an import barrier. ​The speed indicator was unique to Japan. ​It was a victim of the automobile export war. ​Even imported trucks could be approved if they were modified and equipped with speed indicator lamps, but they were regarded as import barriers because of the cost of modification. ​In addition, some pedestrians who did not have the driver's license did not even know the meaning or existence of the speed indicator lights, and the fact that it did not function well was a remote cause of the abolition.

​Such communication tools with pedestrians and other drivers are necessary for driverless automated driving vehicles. ​At the very least, you'll need something to show that it's the automated driving vehicle so it can be recognized correctly by other traffic. As a means of communication with pedestrians and other vehicles other than blinker and passing, it is possible to attach an electric bulletin board facing outside the vehicle. ​On-board electronic bulletin boards are often used by public vehicles for traffic regulations and construction guidance. Electric bulletin boards are sold not only in public vehicles but also in stores, where messages such as "Thank you." and "After you." are displayed or printed in flowing characters. ​However, under the current Road Traffic Law, it is necessary to be careful when lighting other than the lights, and strictly speaking, lighting while driving may violate the law in some contries. In the inexpensive one, LEDs can be arranged in a matrix, dot characters can be selected to store several patterns, and messages can be displayed depending on the situation. ​Adding speed indicator light to this and providing the message for every situation could be the tool for communicating with the outside of the automated driving vehicle. However, it takes longer to read the message than it does to turn on the blinker or pass the ball, and it can't be identified from a distance. ​Therefore, it is necessary to have a means of communication that can be understood instantly.

​Communication between the vehicle and the pedestrian is done by eye contact and gesture. ​This type of non-verbal communication is faster and more reliable than messages. What kind of system do you have in mind for the automated driving vehicle to do the same? ​For an external display, it may be necessary to use a large display for conveying pictograms and personified pictures in an easy-to-understand manner, rather than the display for text. Alternatively, a number of lighting devices may be set on the vehicle roof so that they can be viewed at 360 ° and from a distance, such as speed indicator lights used in heavy-duty trucks in Japan, and the lighting pattern may be changed depending on the state of automated driving. ​This requires standardization and regulation around the world, but there are no language barriers and children can understand it. Mercedes-Benz is actually researching and developing a way to communicate between automated driving vehicles and pedestrians. ​Here's how Mercedes-Benz recommends communicating between autoamted driving vehicles and pedestrians. ​This is a lighting device that is under development in a concept vehicle called a cooperative car, indicating that it is operating automatically for approaching pedestrians. A light arranged on the roof of the vehicle indicates that the vehicle is the automated driving vehicle, and the movement of the vehicle is displayed by the lighting method of the lamp. ​Lights located on the windshield, front grille, headlamp, mirror, lower part of side window, etc., positioned so as to be visible from any angle of 360 degrees, indicate the driving mode of autonomous driving and the lamp located on the roof indicates the movement of the vehicle (Slow flashing indicates deceleration, fast flashing indicates approaching pedestrians, etc.). Mercedes says these represent the vehicle's own will and can communicate with pedestrians. ​The lamp on the roof emits turquoise blue as a color which gives a sense of security to pedestrians by examining each color. ​Flashes of red or yellow, like warning lights, may cause uneasiness among pedestrians and hinder the spread of automated driving, so colors that provide the sense of security are a well-considered choice.

 

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