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VTTI demonstrates Level 4 autonomous vehicle in Northern Virginia

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Category: research Video duration: VTTI demonstrates Level 4 autonomous vehicle in Northern Virginia
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute's (VTTI) Level 4 autonomous F-150 moved through several highway emergency scenarios during a demonstration in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The demonstration showed how various technologies can solve the challenges autonomous driving poses for public safety and emergency situations along public roadways.
Okay, that's our indication that the automation has been engaged and coming to life, so we no longer have hands on the steering wheel the vehicles is driving itself at this point. Over the last few days, we've had the opportunity to showcase automated vehicle which is capable of driving in particularly dynamic and complex scenarios. Traffic incident, traffic incidents reported ahead. Manual traffic controller has stopped here for a minute while the tow truck gets in place and now they're waving us through so we got the wave through vehicle checks to make sure it's okay to proceed and it does, it's into the lane and we passed the tow truck and eventually we'll switch back into our original lane of travel. It's really important to establish how automated vehicles should interact in these scenarios because there are some of the really difficult challenges that as an industry, we're still struggling to solve in order to ensure that as automated vehicles come in to proliferate the roadway system, we are indeed ready, from a safety perspective, to ensure that we're making the roads safer for all individuals, but particularly for public services. So now we have a police officer that's behind us in our review. They want to make contact with us. The blue lights are on, emergency vehicle activity detected from behind. Yielding, pulling over for an emergency vehicle. Right now, our vehicle is looking for a safe space to merge onto the shoulder for the traffic stop. With this demonstration, we're trying to show some solutions for how automated vehicles can interact with public safety that includes Fire EMS, law enforcement in a safe and effective way. There's a window display that's like a touch screen that a law enforcement officer could use to get information about the vehicle, including things like license registration and insurance. And we're trying to figure out ways to do that to make both the police officer feel safe, make the interaction very efficient, but also the occupants of the vehicle will have a good understanding what's going on. Emergency vehicle contact has concluded, resuming trip, Taking the ominous out of autonomous, letting folks know both the driving public, the riding public, and folks that might interact with these vehicles in the not too distant future on a larger scale. And let them know that the automakers, the OEM's and partners like we had with VTTI and other partners as part of this. SOADS project are taking those scenarios into consideration from the very get go. The live environment is so much more complex with additional traffic and so getting it out in the real world, demonstrating it, getting people in the seats to help to experience it as well, is definitely a positive thing. And we get those stakeholders giving us feedback so that we can make the concepts better and make recommendations about best practices. Vehicles can only see so much of what's around them, so we have a lot of like the Trans Urban Express lanes that are highly instrumented roads that can provide additional context to the automated vehicle, whether there's a work zone ahead and incident. Automated vehicles are no longer just the story of science fiction. Thanks to technological advancements and things like processing and sensing, we really are ready to deploy. From a technology standpoint, these vehicles where it gets really challenging is setting the right expectations, policies, procedures, and really the best practices for overcoming unusual scenarios that happen on the roadway, really, all the time.