First ‘handover/takeover’ trials

There are a lot of theories about what it will be like to have a world of all autonomous cars.

But the changeover period is a critical issue.

And this is not just the case of some vehicles being autonomous while others are not.

What happens when drivers switch from one vehicle to another.

The UK’s Venturer autonomous vehicle projecthas conducted trails at Bristol Robotics Laboratory and on roads at the University of the West of England (UWE) campus.

The trials set out to investigate two scenarios when switching frequently between automated and manual driving modes within urban and extra-urban settings: ‘takeover’ – the time taken to reengage with vehicle controls; and ‘handover’ – the time taken to regain a baseline/normal level of driving behavior and performance.

A key finding was that it took 2-3 seconds for participants to takeover manual controls and resume active driving after short periods of autonomous driving in urban environments. Participants also drove more slowly than the recommended speed limit for up to 55 seconds following a handover request.

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