Up the autonomous creek with a paddle

Volvo has announced a simple paddle operated interface it hopes will bring autonomous driving a step closer to becoming a daily reality.

It claims to have designed its IntelliSafe Auto Pilot to be simple and intuitive. Where the autonomous mode is activated and deactivated with paddles on the steering wheel.

When entering a route where autonomous driving is available, the car gives the driver a message that the Auto Pilot is ready. At the same time, lights on the steering-wheel paddles start flashing.

When the driver pulls both paddles simultaneously the autonomous mode is activated. The lights on the paddles then change to constant green and Auto Pilot confirms that the driving and the supervision has been delegated to the car.

When autonomous driving is no longer available, the driver is prompted to take over again and a sixty-second countdown is displayed.

If the driver, for any reason, doesn’t use the paddles to regain control within this minute, the car will bring itself to a safe stop.

Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice-president of design at Volvo, said: “We have designed a user interface that is safe and seamless to use so that drivers can confidently transfer and regain control of the car.”

Volvo’s new IntelliSafe Auto Pilot will be available for the first time on the 100 XC90’s it is making available for the Drive Me project in Gothenburg in 2017, the world’s most ambitious AD project.

Drive Me will make 100 self-driving Volvos available to families and commuters around Gothenburg for use in everyday driving conditions. The cars will be driven autonomously on approximately 50km of selected roads.

Following its use in Drive Me, the IntelliSafe Auto Pilot will then be introduced to the general public.

Catch up with all the European auto innovations at TU-Automotive Europe 2015 November 2-3.


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