Top Five: Things we learned at Autonomous Vehicles Online

top five things we learned at autonomous vehicles online

Autonomous Vehicles Online set out to identify and highlight the future trends that will shape the self-driving car industry. From May 26-27, we set out to do just that with nine presentations from experts from OEMs, Tier suppliers and the legal profession.

The result was extremely successful, with almost 3,000 people registering to see the event, joining us from home offices around the world. For this week’s Top Five, we decided to share some highlights of the event, including the links so you can go back and watch each session again on demand at a time that suits you.

Given the success of Autonomous Vehicles Online, we are now looking forward to building on this with our next event – Automotive Safety and Security Online – which will take place on June 30 and July 1. It is completely free, and all the registration details are below:

For now, here are a few select highlights from Autonomous Vehicles Online:

#1 – The Volvo 360C is coming. But we don’t know when


Elpidoforos Arapantonis, Solution Architect at Volvo Car Corporation, took the opening keynote to attempt to answer the question What are the key trends in autonomy in 2020? It is a big ask, particularly at a time when the future has become somewhat harder to predict because of COVID-19.

However, he rose to the challenge, and, as part of his thoroughly informative overview of the current state of the industry, he described Volvo’s comfort and safety-centric vision that all parts of the firm are working towards.

This is perhaps best encapsulated by the ideas distilled into its excellent fully electric, autonomous 360C concept. Sadly, he could not share when we would get to see something like this on the roads, but you can see the video of the 360C in action, the entirety of Elpis’ presentation, and the expansive Q&A session simply by clicking here.

#2 – COAST Autonomous has clean plans for the post-COVID world


Chief Technology Office of COAST Autonomous, Pierre Lefevre, shared a number of case studies during his talk on How do you control a self-driving car? This included how the firm’s proprietary electric, autonomous platform is automating everything safely from golf carts to mobility solutions for games competitions.

The latter example prompted plenty of questions during the live Q&A, including how, as a provider of publicly shared and available transport solutions, the team was working on COVID-19 options.

Again, how to deal with coronavirus was mentioned, and he assured it has not escaped his team’s notice. Initial options he shared were to increase the frequency at which the vehicles were deep cleaned.

A key focus he also shared was that air conditioning is becoming a concern, with his team looking at more radical options, including ultrasonic cleaning, for the HVAC. He also suggested that for short rides, doing away with windows altogether was his preference, although markets dictated that AC was a must. Learn more here.

#3 – GM shares the news that Corona could delay ISO standard and SOTIF updates


Rami Debouk, Technical Fellow at GM’s campus in Warren, MI, took on What are the key trends and challenges in autonomous vehicle safety? As a long-time contributor to the development and evolution of various automotive safety standards, he talked us through the latest in ISO and SOTIF.

Naturally, he also touched on whether COVID is likely to influence new updates. Right now, things are progressing to the pre-corona timeline, with a particular focus on ensuring that SOTIF continues its transition to a fully formed ISO standard adopted across the industry.

As part of his talk, Rami also looked at the biggest challenges from a safety point of view in ensuring smooth adoption of autonomous technology for consumers. You can hear what he had to say in his talk simply by following this link.

#4 – Legislation is a sensation


One of the most interesting talks of the whole Autonomous Vehicles Online series came from Steve Wernikoff, Partner and Co-Leader of the department that takes care of autonomous vehicle legislation, regulation and more at Chicago law firm Honigman LLP. His extra-detailed presentation covered all manner of issues that those developing AVs face, and how rules and regulations change across the US on a state-by-state basis.

In addition to the detail provided in his presentation, the Q&A that followed was equally worth a listen – with issues covered such as how competition between states in order to attract autonomous development could be lowering safety standards, plus detail on the current exemptions allowed for testing AVs on public roads without safety approval. This one is well worth a listen.

#5 – Daimler Trucks looks to the future


Our ninth and final session was presented by Mike Bucala, Vehicle Systems Quality Engineer and FuSa Manager at Daimler Trucks North America. His talk gave a great overview of how autonomy is upending the trucking industry, and giving engineers a specific focus on delivering self-driving Level 4 capable machines as soon as possible.

In addition to this, Mike also answer a great many and varied questions – including whether platooning at Level 2 was a help or a hindrance to Level 4 autonomous truck development; and a look at how some of the legal frameworks are impacting his work.
The full session is available here.


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