Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
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The government of Germany has issued a warning to all owners of Tesla Motors electric vehicles in the country regarding the usage of the controversial Autopilot function. According to the Federal Motor Authority, the Autopilot feature of Tesla Motors is a driver assistance system and does not provide vehicles with autonomous driving capabilities. As such, even with the feature turned on, drivers will need to keep their attention on the road at all times. The warning letter was sent out just after Germany's Federal Highway Research Institute released a new study on the system, which found that the Autopilot feature is a "considerable traffic hazard." One of the issues that the study raised for the driver assistance system is that with Autopilot activated, a Tesla Motors electric vehicle did not follow the road markings within a construction zone. Additionally, when there were no road markings present, the Autopilot system just had the electric car follow the vehicle that was in front. The Autopilot feature also presents safety concerns on the German Autobahn, where there are parts with no speed limits. If a Tesla Motors car on Autopilot would be driving the standard 80 miles per hour (mph) along the highway, the system's sensors that detect roughly 40 meters behind will not be able to take into account faster vehicles that could go at over 125 mph. With these raised issues, the Federal Motor Authority stated that drivers are required to stay alert and remain in control of their cars at all times even while the Autopilot system is activated in their Tesla Motors vehicle. Drivers should also take note of the advice given in the owner's manual for Tesla Motors vehicles, especially on the limitations of the Autopilot feature. In addition to the warning letter sent out to owners of its electric vehicles, Tesla Motors was also reportedly asked by the German government to rename the Autopilot system, as its name gives the false idea that it would be safe for drivers to leave all the responsibilities of driving to the electric car. The issue with the name of the Autopilot system has been previously flagged by Consumer Reports, which claimed that the name is a source of confusion among customers. In addition, drivers could become tempted to rely too much on the feature, which would make their reaction time to potential accidents slower. According to Consumer Reports, Tesla Motors should disable Autopilot, revamp the technology behind it, and then release it with a new name. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | October 10, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Autonomous Cars - Five Things To Know About Self Driving Cars The controversial Tesla Autopilot is under fire again, as a new study from Germany warns that it's a hazard. Tesla's Autopilot has stirred quite some criticism and controversy recently, especially after reports of fatal car crashes blamed the autonomous system. A new study from Germany's Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) now says that the Tesla Model S Autopilot feature is a "considerable traffic hazard," German publication Der Spiegel reports. Tesla CEO Elon Musk defends his company's Autopilot system and dismisses such reports, arguing that Autopilot is in fact safer than manually driven cars. According to Tesla, its vehicles registered more than 130 million miles safely covered with Autopilot enabled before the first fatal Tesla car crash occurred. Statistically, one crash at more than 130 million miles beats the safety record for manually driven vehicles, which see a fatal car crash every 100 million miles in the United States, based on data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Der Spiegel, meanwhile, notes that the study was an internal one and therefore does not equate to a final evaluation. The study follows a Tesla Model S accident that occurred late last month on a German highway, when the vehicle with Autopilot enabled crashed into a bus. The accident did not cause any fatalities, but the agency still felt compelled to assess the safety of Tesla's Autopilot. According to the report, testers found a number of issues with Tesla's systems. For instance, the vehicle did not follow the road markings from a construction zone and when it had no road markings at all, it just followed the car in front of it. At the same time, the German Autobahn has a number of stretches even where no speed limits apply, which constitutes a problem for Tesla's Autopilot system. Based on the report, the vehicle's sensors look roughly 40 meters behind, but no further. This means that if the Tesla car is driving at the standard 80 mph speed on the Autobahn and someone drives 125 mph or faster on the left lane, for instance, Tesla's 40-meter view behind it would not suffice. Moreover, while Tesla markets its Autopilot feature as an assisted driving system and not fully autonomous technology, the report points out that the name leaves a different impression. This is not the first time that the Autopilot name is questioned. Consumer Reports previously warned that calling the system "Autopilot" was misleading and potentially dangerous, as it lends consumers to believe it's fully autonomous rather than assistive driving. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Buhne J.-A.,University of Cologne | Ludeke A.,Federal Highway Research Institute
17th ITS World Congress | Year: 2010

Despite their expected potential to improve road safety, the deployment of cooperative vehicle safety systems can be disturbed or delayed because of a lack of user acceptance and the possible occurrence of market failures such as external effects. The analysis of market failures in regard to cooperative vehicle safety systems has yet received only minor attention within scientific research. This paper presents the results of an internet based survey in order to estimate demand-related obstacles. The knowledge, awareness and acceptance of cooperative vehicle safety systems were checked as well as the willingness-to-pay of users. Also the participants were asked to define the role of public and private bodies in the implementation process.


Bergerhausen U.,Federal Highway Research Institute | Priestaff S.,University of Stuttgart
Communications in Computer and Information Science | Year: 2012

In a developed society, the achievement of individual and economic goals requires a high degree of mobility. Mobility is the key for an efficient transport infrastructure. This is particularly important for roads and its bridges and tunnels. They play a vital part since the majority of the transport of goods and people of all modes are handled by them. In the joint research project "Protection of critical bridges and tunnels (SKRIBTPlus) a method is developed to evaluate the security of bridges and tunnel safety. In particular, this methodology investigated the scenario fire on/under a bridge, which can have serious consequences both technical and economic. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Haardt P.,Federal Highway Research Institute | Krieger J.,Federal Highway Research Institute
Bridge Maintenance, Safety, Management and Life-Cycle Optimization - Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management | Year: 2010

The Federal Highway Network of Germany represents considerable fixed assets. Construction and maintenance activities not only require a high budget, but also influence the traffic infrastructure and, thus, the economy and society as a whole. The present safety of the network has to be ensured under consideration of environmental aspects. At the same time the network owner has to make sure that the civil works are carried out in the most efficient way. Considering the fact that financial resources are restricted, the costs have to be spent in a way to obtain the greatest possible benefit. This task is supported by the application of a comprehensive Asset Management, which is subdivided into operational and controlling tasks respectively. The paper describes the current management procedures. © 2010 Taylor & Francis Group, London.


Berengier M.,LUNAM University | Gusia P.J.,Federal Highway Research Institute
INTERNOISE 2014 - 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering: Improving the World Through Noise Control | Year: 2014

Based on results from the former project "Prediction and Propagation of Rolling Noise" developed in the framework of the German-French cooperation and during which an optimal low noise texture of dense road surface has been designed, ODSurf, financed by the French Environmental Agency and the German Federal Highway Research Institute is mainly devoted to the implementation of new technologies and materials particularly adapted for urban situations in terms of noise abatement to comply the European noise regulation. Different new solutions have been investigated. To achieve our objectives, we improved and/or developed new predicting models and experimental techniques. A particular attention has been paid on the consequences of texture, horn effect and air pumping modifications on tire-road noise emission. Theoretical approaches and new optimized road pavement designing have been carried out in parallel. Furthermore, the improvement of "conventional" wearing courses has been pursued in order to supply to end-users a complete set of low-noise solutions adapted to their own situations. First validation results are presented. Further, these new optimized pavements will be introduced in the common DEUFRABASE, previously implemented for suburban configurations, which will be completed and extended to urban situations.


Bartolomaeus W.,Federal Highway Research Institute
Proceedings of Forum Acusticum | Year: 2011

In this paper the attempt is done to determine the needs for software modeling real sound sources. It is shown that real sound sources often can not been modeled as monopole point sources due to the character of sound generation. For these cases more complex sound sources can be used to better fit with the experimental results from coherence measurements. The coherence of a signal or of a sound source itself is defined and its radial and angular coherence. From this the expression of a coherent sound field can be derived. With use of short time Fourier transform the coherence function is defined and is applied to measurements of vehicles passing by. It is shown that the assumption of coherence for the sound from vehicles passing by is not valid, at least for high frequencies. In an other application the coherence of two sound sources - a loud speaker and a reference source - is measured. In this more easy case a significant difference in coherence is observed. The air-born sound from the reference source is totally incoherent beginning from a comparable small angle. The sound generation mechanism of the loudspeaker is due to sound radiation from a moving surface. This source is coherent over a wide range of angle. In the last part of this paper three sources used in the Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method are described. A combination of a comparably small number of independent radiating monopoles - five or nine - gives an incoherent sound field useful for modeling real sound sources. The consequence of including incoherent sources in scientific and engineering models of sound propagation can be to think over the concept. It is doubtful e.g. to use the Fresnel method for determining reflections and diffractions of sound, even in the method were no interference patterns can occur.


Wacker B.,Federal Highway Research Institute
Bituminous Mixtures and Pavements VI - Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Bituminous Mixtures and Pavements, ICONFBMP 2015 | Year: 2015

The German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) is using the Mobile Load Simulator MLS10 for accelerated pavement testing since 2013. During the first attempts to evaluate structural changes, it has been noticed that the temperature within the MLS10 and of the experimental infrastructure itself increased. To describe these characteristics, a test program for temperature analysis with temperature sensors and an infraredcamera was developed. During this test phase a standardized as well as a modified setup of the MLS10 was used. The results of these experiments can be used to improve further test programs in the future, especially for the adaptation of experimental parameters. © 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, London.


Buckers C.,Federal Highway Research Institute | Stockert U.,Federal Highway Research Institute
Proceedings - European Conference on Noise Control | Year: 2012

Road traffic is one of the main causes of noise pollution throughout Europe harming public health seriously. As the traffic density is expected to increase in the forthcoming years according to economic growth even more effective strategies have to be developed to reduce noise nuisance. In this presentation, we review the approaches pursued in the project "Quiet Road Traffic 3" aiming for a further abatement of the traffic noise in agglomerations. The project focuses on measures which lower the noise emission at the source, thus ensuring a lasting effect. Especially, the tire road interaction is considered since this mechanism basically determines the noise radiation of flowing traffic. The research activities include the acoustic improvement of tires as well as the development of innovative, silent road surfaces. As the central part, a model for the quantitative prediction of the tire road noise is applied in order to characterize the underlying physical processes. Such an analysis is of significant importance to explore the potential of novel materials and to design optimized pavements. The practical use of the results will be checked by implementing and monitoring test tracks finally. In total, the proposals are intended to lower the road traffic noise level by 4 to 6 dB(A) as compared to the current state of the art. The research association consists of partners from university, industry and agencies, hence merging scientific knowledge and practical experience. © European Acoustics Association.


Kinateder M.,University of Würzburg | Pauli P.,University of Würzburg | Muller M.,University of Würzburg | Krieger J.,Federal Highway Research Institute | And 6 more authors.
Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour | Year: 2013

Immediate user self-evacuation is crucial in case of fire in road tunnels. This study investigated the effects of information with or without additional virtual reality (VR) behavioural training on self-evacuation during a simulated emergency situation in a road tunnel. Forty-three participants were randomly assigned to three groups with accumulating preventive training: The control group only filled in questionnaires, the informed group additionally read an information brochure on tunnel safety, and the VR training group received an additional behavioural training in a VR tunnel scenario. One week later, during the test session, all participants conducted a drive through a real road tunnel in which they were confronted with a collision of two vehicles and intense smoke. The informed and the behaviourally trained participants evacuated themselves more reliably from the tunnel than participants of the control group. Trained participants showed better and faster behavioural responses than informed only participants. Interestingly, the few participants in the control group who reacted adequately to the scenario were all female. A 1 year follow-up online questionnaire showed a decrease of safety knowledge, but still the trained group had somewhat more safety relevant knowledge than the two other groups. Information and especially VR behavioural training both seem promising to foster adequate self-evacuation during crisis situations in tunnels, although long term beneficial behavioural effects have to be demonstrated. Measures aiming to improve users' behaviour should take individual difference such as gender into account. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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