AV Driver Training Program Launching in UK

An advanced driver training company in the UK is branching out into training autonomous vehicle operators.

CAT Driver Training, a company that provides driver training for automotive engineers and is based at the Millbrook Proving Ground outside of Bedford, south-central England, says it is planning to launch a training course for AVs’ human back-up drivers. CAT argues such a course is urgently needed because of the “immediate and increasing global requirement to test and develop … [AVs] on the public highway”.

Although Level 5 AVs are probably a long way from becoming commonplace on public roads, Level 4 AVs are a less distant prospect, with development of the tech for such vehicles reaching ever advancing stages. CAT is likely bargaining on there being a preponderance of the latter vehicles on the roads, thus necessitating training for their human back-up drivers. It cites studies as showing how difficult it is for such workers “to stay alert and respond quickly when potential hazards appear”. It also claims they have to have “the skills necessary to maintain the highest level of concentration and risk assessment when not in control of the vehicle”, and that its new training program can provide these “skills”.

CAT chief instructor Colin Hoad says: “Training a car how to drive itself is no mean feat … it is vital that the impressive technology and machine learning that educates autonomous systems does not overshadow the necessity for driverless cars to be developed using industry-level advanced driving expertise … self-driving cars need to not only meet, but surpass the standards of the everyday driver”. According to a CAT spokesperson, the program is already operational and the company is currently working with an unnamed UK-based AV developer.

 


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