AV motion control should be determined by people, not data

Simulators could prove to be an essential resource as automakers strive to make AV motion control safe, comfortable, and reliable. By Will Girling

The future of autonomous vehicles (AVs) has never looked brighter. The Mercedes S-Class has achieved Level 2 according to the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) scale, denoting partial automation of functions like steering, braking, and accelerating. Meanwhile, the Audi A8 is pushing the boundaries of Level 3 by allowing the driver to disengage from driving entirely under certain conditions.

Special report: Autonomous vehicle motion control

With Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk claiming in December 2021 that his company could achieve Level 4 autonomy some time in 2022, the standard for AVs is increasing rapidly. Yet the technology in its current incarnation is far from perfect—something attested to by the 200 crashes related to Tesla’s Autopilot system alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Customers and regulators need to be confident that AVs can drive as competently as a human, both in terms of safety and comfort. Therefore, as new vehicles gradually ascend through the five levels of autonomy, more attention needs to be paid to refining AV motion control.

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