The Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) and Thatcham will demonstrate self-driving cars at this year’s Seeing is Believing.
UK trials of autonomous vehicles have only taken place on private land up to now, but the government has given the green light for driverless cars to take to UK roads from January 2015.
George Lee, national director of the RSMA, said: “There is a lot of excitement about the potential for self driving cars; however, concerns persist that current infrastructure failings are potentially a limiting factor to implementation across the entire road network. Yet even modest road marking infrastructure improvements can produce significant safety dividends with the current and emerging technology available to drivers.
“The RSMA demonstration at SIB is designed to show how critical well maintained road markings are to ensuring that current and emerging vehicle technology works effectively and delivers the road safety benefits they can bring. Using vehicles with the latest available technology, participants will be able to see first hand how impressive and practical this technology is in maintaining safety when working in conjunction with cost effective road marking products that are readily available in the UK market.”
The vehicles that the RSMA propose to use with active steering systems at Seeing is Believing are a Mercedes E class, an Infiniti Q50 and a Volvo V40.
The Infiniti Q50 is the first production vehicle with a steer by wire system meaning in normal operation there is no mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and rack (there is a backup mechanical system in case of failure but it is declutched in normal operation). Active Lane Control is a lane guidance system that turns the road wheels, but not the steering wheel, to keep the vehicle centred in the lane, effectively performing the little steering movements on your behalf to reduce driving fatigue. It uses a camera-based system to enhance lane-keeping capability.
Find out more about the system in the video below:
At the other extreme is the Volvo Lane Keeping Aid which acts to steer the vehicle back into the lane if the vehicle is about to cross the lane markings.
The Mercedes system provides lane guidance via small steering inputs where the steering rack and wheel moves and emergency directional correction for lane departure prevention using the braking system on one side rather than by the steering system. However Mercedes apply a degree of intelligence to their lane keeping interventions depending on the lane marking type, whether you are permitted to cross it (solid or dashed) and whether there is a collision threat with an overtaking or oncoming vehicle.
The Lane Keeping Aid in the V40 helps the driver stay in the intended lane. This feature applies extra steering torque to the steering column when the car gets close to a lane marking and is about to leave the lane. The system is active at speeds between 65 km/h and 200 km/h.
The forward-looking camera monitors the left and right lane markings. Lane Keeping Aid registers the car’s progress between the lane markings and takes action if the driver shows signs of unintentionally drifting out of the lane.
Watch the Mercedes in action in the video below:
Seeing is Believing offers exhibitors a unique opportunity to demonstrate products and services outside on a real road environment, with day, dusk and night time conditions – in a scenario best suited to your product or service.
The show is taking place at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, Lutterworth, in Leicestershire from 19 to 20 November 2014.
To find out more information about what’s on offer at this year’s event visit www.sib.uk.net