SYNERGY: SST and Autonomous Vehicles

This White Paper Report was commissioned to determine the ability for, and nature of, a symbiotic efficacy of SST and Autonomous Vehicle development and deployment.

the-nrma


A CASE FOR SYNCHRONICITY

Contemporaneous Advancement in Autonomous Vehicle Technologies and Independent Development of SST

The scope and purpose of the research reflected in this document, was undertaken as a result of the aforementioned commission; and was conducted under the premise that a certain synchronicity exists between SST and autonomous vehicle development.

PRESCIENT REALITY: An Apple AI PR Fear
The first time an accident occurs when an Apple AI vehicle is rear-ended by a driver impaired by cognitive tunneling because they are texting on an Apple iPhone, the enormity of the costs relating to negative PR will be a huge setback for Apple.

“Synchronicity” is of foundational importance, because the inventor of SST originally intended for the product to be installed on human operated motorized vehicles. Synchronicity, in the context of this exercise, is based upon the premise that the SST patent and the development of autonomous vehicles are strictly meaningful coincidences, as they were both under contemporaneous and independent development. An additional thesis will be developed within the context of synchronicity to determine if these events occurred without a causal relationship; but are nonetheless meaningfully related.

On the Precipice: Automotive Sector Disruption via Autonomous Vehicles

Continual incremental progress in the automotive sector, since the introduction of automobiles more than 100 years ago, resulted in the development of economical vehicles offering acceptable reliability, while providing a preponderance of safety features designed to reduce injuries and fatalities. Empirical data supports safety effectiveness when that data is carefully adjusted for pattern consistency in driving and distraction issues over the past ten decades.

The advent of autonomous motor vehicles has placed the automotive sector on the precipice of creating substantial market disruption; as well as lifestyle disruptions and a myriad of challenges on roadways large and small. Not unlike autonomous aircraft generally referred to as “drones,” self-driving technologies incorporated into automobiles potentially offer operational safety features heretofore unavailable for human-controlled  motor vehicles.

Technological progress in the arena of computer driven self-controlled vehicles has reached a level of competitive sustainability due to rapid developmental advances in artificial intelligence designed for autonomous air, sea, and ground transportation systems. Research performed by the U.S. military, institutions of higher education, and the private sector has enabled corporate development of many autonomous systems for commercial purposes. An example of a symbiotic relationship that propelled innovation in the private sector was the satellite system initially conceived and developed within the U.S. military-industrial complex, involving the creation and deployment of the global positioning system; and subsequent development of commercially available navigation systems for the masses.

By all appearances, impending disruptive forces within the automotive sector will achieve remarkable puissance at magnitudes beyond that which followed the development of the original Apple iPhone in the communications sector. Serious investments are being made within the automotive sector by change leaders such as Google, Apple, and Tesla. The following is a comprehensive accounting of leading corporations currently engaged in serious efforts to advance the prospect of their commercial viability within the autonomous vehicle space.

Apple (Project Titan)
Audi (Audi Piloted Driving)
AutoTalks (imminent danger warning systems)
Baidu (autonomous vehicles and tourist services)
BMW (allied with Intel & Mobileye in developing an open standards platform)
Bosch (allied with TomTom, Google, Tesla, and Porsche)
Cisco Systems (data routing)
Codha (safety-related data network for ascertaining other vehicle activity)
Continental (connecting autonomous vehicles via wireless systems)
Convisint (connectivity w/externals: traffic lights, emergency vehicles, etc…)
DAF (allied with Daimler, Iveco, MAN, Scania, and Volvo in the trucking space)
Delphi (aftermarket self-driving technology for existing human-driven automobiles)
Ford (Smart Mobility Plan)
General Motors (recently acquired Cruise Automation and is allied with Lyft)
Google (the high-profile leader in vehicle autonomy, allied with Fiat Chrysler)
Honda (focused on advanced driver assistance technologies)
Hyundai (advancing automobile hyperconnectivity and self-driving vehicles)
Jaguar (allied with Land Rover for advanced assistance features for drivers)
Mercedes-Benz (advanced assistance systems)
Microsoft (allied with Volvo and Toyota to provide technological assistance)
Nissan (allied with Renault and Toyota for “significant autonomous functionality”)
Nvidia (machine learning, artificial intelligence processing hardware)
NXP Semiconductor (a leader in advanced driver assistance systems)
PSA (alliance w/Peugeot, Citroën, & DS using automation for U.S. reentry)
QNX (QNX Car Platform / Crashless Operating System)
Tata Elixsi (security, vehicle communications, & autonomous parking valet)
Tesla (aggressively seeking full self-driving autonomy – suffered 1st fatality)
Toyota (AI research – University of Michigan, MIT and Stanford)
Uber (leveraging mapping assets in the development of full vehicle autonomy)
Volkswagen (plan to out-maneuver others w/market-first autonomous vehicle)
Volvo (developing “Intellisafe” for the goal of “deathless” Volvo products)
Yutong (driverless buses)

A defensible argument could be made that major disruptions are forthcoming, beyond all anticipated and imagined developments in the automotive sector. The economic, lifestyle, and safety ramifications are, at this juncture, beyond prescience. However, early concerns relating to safety, after several mishaps involving autonomous test platforms belonging to Google, as well as the often cited Tesla fatality, suggest safety will be a huge dynamic in the natural evolution of autonomous vehicle development. Lawmakers globally are beginning to make adjustments to laws and regulations to pave the way for autonomous vehicles, while maintaining vigilance in adapting safety and legal structures designed to protect citizens and property.

There is ample evidence that the intent to develop a “deathless” automobile is not confined to Volvo. Defending and expanding existing public goodwill and corporate economic opportunities is an understandably high priority for each of the aforementioned entrants into this space; and safe operation of autonomous vehicles is of the highest priority.

For example, Apple’s development of the iPhone has opened markets worldwide to consumers for their products and competing devices marketed by other companies. Smartphones are, without question, huge distractions in automobile operations and have, arguably, played a significant role in tens of thousands of distraction-related fatal automobile accidents across the globe. Both the iPhone and Apple’s future role in autonomous vehicles will be closely tied to safety.

The first time an accident occurs when an Apple AI vehicle is rear-ended by a driver impaired by cognitive tunneling because they are texting on an Apple iPhone, the enormity of the costs relating to negative PR will be a huge setback for Apple. Tesla’s Autopilot fatality shook the very foundation of the autonomous vehicle space and resulted in significant adjustments by most, if not all, of the corporations on the aforementioned list. Each of these companies understands the costs and risks involved; and will certainly explore every reasonable opportunity to enhance the safety features on vehicles using their technologies.

Rand Corporation Key Findings
The Rand Corporation produced “A Guide for Policymakers” associated with the developing autonomous vehicle field. The following are key findings from that guide. It is interesting that the “Key Findings” suggest the cost of driving will diminish and result in more traffic congestion (implying the possibility for more slow and go accidents for human driven vehicles):


Automated Vehicle Technology Offers Several Benefits

  • Without driver error, fewer vehicle crashes will result.
  • The mobility of the young, the elderly, and the disabled will be increased.
  • Traffic flow could be more efficient and congestion decreased.
  • Vehicle occupants could spend travel time engaged in other activities, so the costs of travel time and congestion are reduced.
  • Fuel efficiency can be increased and alternative energy sources facilitated.
  • Because such vehicles won’t need proximate urban parking, space used for parking could be repurposed.


There Are Possible Drawbacks

  • Because the technology would decrease the cost of driving, congestion might increase, rather than decrease.
  • Occupations and economies based on public transit, crash repair, and automobile insurance might suffer as the technology makes certain aspects of these occupations obsolete.
  • Policy Implications Include Liability and Regulation Issues
  • Manufacturer liability is likely to increase while personal liability is likely to decrease. If a vehicle and a human share driving responsibility, the insurance issues could become more complicated. A variety of solutions exist if this poses a problem.
  • Inconsistent state regulation poses a risk — if 50 states have 50 different regulations, it would be difficult for manufacturers to match them all; likewise, vehicle owners might not be able to travel outside their state of residence.
  • Because many of the benefits of autonomous vehicle technology accrue to those other than the purchaser, subsidies or taxes may be necessary in order to maximize social welfare by equalizing the public and private costs and benefits.


Rand Corporation Recommendations

  • Further research should be conducted to better quantify the likely costs and benefits of the technology and, just as importantly, to whom they will accrue.
  • As the technology evolves, policymakers should consider subsidies or taxes to equalize the public and private costs and benefits of this technology.
  • In general, autonomous vehicle technology ought to be permitted if and when it is superior to average human drivers.
  • Judges should consider incorporating the long-run costs and benefits of a technology in ruling on product liability suits.

Readers will note almost every single bullet point above from the Rand Corporation’s “Key Findings” touches on, either directly or indirectly, three important considerations:

  • Risk
  • Liability
  • Safety

The RLS (Risk, Liability, and Safety) quotient in this discussion underscores the heavy emphasis placed on RLS management by each entity exploring options within the autonomous vehicle sphere of development.

Genesis Thesis: Standard Braking Indicators Fall Short

In-vehicle distractions can lead to accidents when vehicles ahead begin to slow or stop. Activities such as text messaging are considerably more forceful in drawing and maintaining driver attention. Texting is easily capable of blocking driver awareness to changes in velocity by vehicles forward of his or her vehicle; reducing reaction times necessary to avoid many rear-end collisions.

For example, in rapidly stopping or stopped traffic, the application of the brake pedal on vehicles, such as passenger cars or light trucks equipped with standard existing brake indication technologies, results in continuously illuminated brake lights located on the rear of those vehicles. A distracted driver approaching stopping, stopped, or slow-and-go traffic, may be less inclined to notice a “solid” braking indication if they are blind to the threat.

An Inattentional Blindness phenomenon referred to as “Cognitive Tunneling” very well describes what happens when a driver is focused on a distracting mental or physical task (i.e. texting) and filters out visual and auditory cues from their environment.

For example, a driver barreling down the freeway while engaged in text messaging is cognitively captured by texting activities and fails to react to various stimuli in the surrounding world. If traffic is stopped ¼ mile in front of the speeding car and the view is static (meaning no movement and all brake lights are on and unchanging), there are few visual cues to divert the driver’s attention from texting. No changes, no real alert.

Peripheral vision in the human eye is weak and not well suited for distinguishing color, shape, or detail. Conversely, peripheral vision is especially effective in noticing flicker and detecting motion. If nothing is happening in the traffic ahead, there are few visual stimuli to alert the driver to stalled traffic. If the oncoming driver is engaged in text messaging and focused on his or her mobile device, “movement” on the periphery of their vision may alert them to the danger and result in accident avoidance; thereby obviating injuries, deaths, and property damage.

While some might argue that bright contemporary brake lights will successfully garner the texting party’s attention, there is little evidence to support those arguments when cognitive tunneling is a factor. Humans are attracted by changes in light, movement of light, disappearance and appearance of light – but not light itself. If light were that effective at garnering attention, our eyes would be drawn to the sun each time we venture outdoors.

Specious at Best
A few companies have unsuccessfully attempted to address driver reaction issues associated with cognitive tunneling by creating a temporary blinking of the third brake light on cars and light trucks, through the use of cheaply manufactured circuitry. Designed for aftermarket installation on passenger cars, these devices cause the brake light to blink a few times at the onset of braking, but fail to provide tunneling countermeasures once the vehicle has stopped; because circuit functionality ceases after a few flashes due to a “lockout” technology. That lockout is designed to create compliance with federal laws requiring regular periods of non-flashing while the brakes are applied. Novelty circuits present marginal benefits because the vast majority of rear-end collisions occur after the forward vehicle has completely stopped and remains motionless; during the period when that circuitry is non-functional.

CCM: Computer Controlled Modulation
By contrast, George Jameson, the inventor and patent holder of Sure Stop Technology™, recognized that computer-controlled, digitally programmed, pulse width modulation (CCM) of the apparent intensity of vehicular braking indicators, according to a specified pattern, can facilitate early and continued recognition by approaching drivers in trailing vehicles, while remaining compliant with applicable law. Such modulation can capture the attention of the oncoming driver, who may be distracted by cognitive tunneling while focusing on activities within their vehicle (e.g., texting). A predefined CCM pattern, that continues to provide tunneling protection after vehicles have fully stopped, allows for earlier recognition of a potential hazard.

National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) studies reveal that a single second of “earlier recognition” will result in a 90% decrease in accidents resulting from rear-end collisions.

Sure Stop Technology™
The Genesis modulation device includes an electronic apparatus installed in new vehicles or trailers (OEM or Dealership Installations) that can provide that important second of additional recognition and reaction time. The device can be installed in a solitary configuration or integrated into the manufacturing process for new vehicle BCM’s (Body Control Modules, aka vehicular computers) or BICM’s (Brake Indicator Control Modules).

In time, as fewer and fewer human driven vehicles are operating on roadways, the need for Sure Stop Technology™ will decrease. However, so long as human beings are operating motor vehicles and are at risk of distractions due to smartphone usage, personal grooming and eating, radio and GPS adjustments, etc… every vehicle on the road is at risk; including the very expensive, direct and indirect, activities associated with autonomous vehicle transportation.

The electronic apparatus can include a mechanical or electronic switch that interrupts or shunts a braking indication illumination signal to one or more braking indicators, such as modulating a current or voltage delivered to the braking indicator. Various parameters relating to the modulation can be customized, such as to provide a “vanity” or “signature” flashing sequence signaling an installation corresponding to a particular vendor, dealership, or vehicle manufacturer. An end user of the modulation apparatus, such as an owner or operator of the vehicle or trailer equipped with the modulation apparatus, can be inhibited from modifying the customizable pattern.

In contrast to other approaches, during a period of continued brake application, Sure Stop Technology’s™ modulation of apparent intensity according to the programmed pattern can be terminated after a specified initial modulation duration, to suppress apparent variation in intensity, but while still continuing to modulate a current or voltage to the braking indicator in a manner that is not apparent to others viewing the braking indicator (e.g., using modulation having a pulse width short enough or using pulse amplitude variation small enough that such amplitude variation, pulse width variation, or pulse amplitude variation is not perceived as blinking or flashing).

Such non-apparent modulation can continue until the brake is released or, for example, until a specified duration expires and the apparent (e.g., highly-visible) specified pattern can again be repeated. In an example, if the brake is released, modulation is terminated. A timer is initiated upon detection of a release of the brake. If the brake is reapplied within a specified duration as indicated by the timer, the electronic apparatus can enter the non-apparent modulation state without presenting the apparent modulation pattern. This can avoid frequent distracting apparent flashing when the brake is momentarily released and quickly re-applied, such as in stop-and-go traffic. In this manner, a lockout scheme is not needed and a control circuit supervising the modulation provides modulation in all states when the brake is applied, but, depending on the state of the electronic apparatus, the modulation may not always be visibly apparent to observers.

The aforementioned ability to program the apparatus for “vanity” modulation sequences offers a plethora of options for sensory responses by oncoming vehicles; including, but not limited to, commercial transportation vehicles, emergency response vehicles and autonomous vehicles (currently under early stage development).

Saving Lives
More than 50% of all automobile-related accidents are now said to be rear-end collisions resulting from distracted driving. Studies clearly indicate most of those accidents could be prevented if trailing drivers were alerted to slowing or stopped vehicles ahead equipped with pulse width patterned modulation circuitry like the Sure Stop Technology™ patented by Genesis Systems.

GENERAL CONCLUSIONS
Symbiosis: Genesis Sure Stop Technology™ and Autonomous Vehicles

Although Sure Stop Technology™ was not initially conceived or developed for driverless vehicles, there is compelling evidence that developers of driverless vehicles, as well as those entities engaged in advancing the artificial intelligence necessary to safely operate those vehicles, will benefit from the safety benefits of Sure Stop Technology™. The synchronicity is clear. The adaptation of Sure Stop Technology™ into autonomous vehicles is an extremely viable and meaningful coincidence that will certainly provide value to corporations seeking to enhance the safety and well-being of passengers within self-driving vehicles.

Costs related to accidents, and subsequent liability expenses, can be enormously expensive; and the autonomous motor vehicle industry won’t be immune from costly collisions. However, technology can and will play an important role in mitigating collisions and related costs for corporate players in this area. A number of carefully researched studies underscore the economic impact of automobile-related accidents.

The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) released a study in 2014 entitled, “The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010,” revealing the financial impact of U.S. car accidents. According to the study, the price tag for car accidents on America’s roads and highways is a staggering $836 billion.

Excerpt from: The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes

In 2010, there were 32,999 people killed, 3.9 million were injured, and 24 million vehicles were damaged in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. The economic costs of these crashes totaled $242 billion. Included in these losses are lost productivity, medical costs, legal and court costs, emergency service costs (EMS), insurance administration costs, congestion costs, property damage, and workplace losses.

The $242 billion cost of motor vehicle crashes represents the equivalent of nearly $784 for each of the 308.7 million people living in the United States, and 1.6 percent of the $14.96 trillion real U.S. Gross Domestic Product for 2010. These figures include both police‐reported and unreported crashes. When quality of life valuations are considered, the total value of societal harm from motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was $836 billion. Lost market and household for $77 billion of the total $242 billion economic costs, while property damage accounted for $76 billion. Medical expenses totaled $23 billion. Congestion caused by crashes, including travel delay, excess fuel consumption, greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants accounted for $28 billion. Each fatality resulted in an average discounted lifetime cost of $1.4 million.

Public revenues paid for roughly 7 percent of all motor vehicle crash costs, costing taxpayers $18 billion in 2010, the equivalent of over $156 in added taxes for every household in the United States.

In time, as fewer and fewer human driven vehicles are operating on roadways, the need for Sure Stop Technology™ will decrease. However, so long as human beings are operating motor vehicles and are at risk of distractions due to smartphone usage, personal grooming and eating, radio and GPS adjustments, etc… every vehicle on the road is at risk; including the very expensive, direct and indirect, activities associated with autonomous vehicle transportation.

On a final note, “expensive” as used in the preceding sentence extends beyond the vehicle itself. That term also encompasses costs associated with passenger health and well-being, medical costs, legal and court costs, emergency service costs, insurance administration costs, traffic congestion costs, property damage, lost productivity and other workplace losses, research and development costs, marketing costs, insurance costs, as well as public relations and image rehabilitation costs. It also extends to corporate profitability and viability for manufacturers of autonomous vehicles, and their vendors.


SUMMARIZED CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Synergy and a Mutually Beneficial Relationship

There is a clear argument for a safety-centric synergy involving Sure Stop Technology™ and autonomous vehicle research, development, and deployment.

A conclusion reached by this White Paper study, based upon the volumes of data and research available under the umbrella of this discussion, is that competency requires those charged with RLS management in the autonomous vehicle space seriously consider and embrace the benefits of incorporating Sure Stop Technology into their autonomous vehicle development equation.

Therefore, it is recommended that Genesis pursue a mutually beneficial business relationship with one or more corporate leaders within the autonomous vehicle ecosystem. Many such corporate entities recommended for association with Genesis are noted within this White Paper Report.

END

Photo courtesy of NRMA

This White Paper Report was commissioned by Genesis Systems, LLC to determine the ability for, and nature of, a symbiotic efficacy of Genesis Systems Products #8432P and #8432C (US Patent: 01/19/2016 Jameson #9238432) and Autonomous Vehicle development and deployment.

Author: Steve Fowler
© 2016 White Paper Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.
https://whitepaperchronicles.wordpress.com

REPRINTS AND LINKING
White Paper Chronicles (WPC) are copyrighted works. However, if you’d like to reprint any WPC article, post, or white paper, please notify the author of your intentions via email to fowler@stevefowler.com. There is no cost. Include details such as the name of the publication and where it will be reprinted, or the URL of the reposting. Please include the following with any reprint or repost: TITLE OF THE WPC ARTICLE and “Reprinted with permission of Steve Fowler, White Paper Chronicles.” Anyone can link to any of our articles. There’s no need to ask permission and there’s no cost.

SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR, STEVE FOWLER
Ghostwriting

Steve provides ghostwriting services that include online articles and White Paper development. Additional writing services include collaborating with clients needing assistance in drafting critical correspondence, and other written works, tailored to specific goals.

Consultant
Steve is also available as a consultant for businesses needing to identify underlying issues impacting business viability; as well as the development and deployment of solutions necessary to improve profitability, culture, and opportunities.

For further information call: (520) 800-3773

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s