Digitizing the social contract for safer roads

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By Special to the Monitor

By Erez Dagan
Mobileye and Intel Corporation

When Mobileye set out to design a safety concept for autonomous vehicles (AVs), we first had to examine the concepts and mechanisms that humans use to maintain road safety. We needed a framework fully compliant with the human road safety system so that AVs could share the same roads. We also needed something demonstrably safer, by design, for society to accept them on the roads.

During development of this system, we discovered the same framework that solves this challenge for AVs is also capable of dramatically improving the safety of the road today via advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The solution digitizes the mostly informal, hard-to-enforce social contract that governs road safety today. How this works was the subject of my keynote address today at SAE World Congress.

The Gap in Our Traffic Rules

The foundation of the existing road safety system is traffic rules: explicit, unequivocal instructions to the driver, coded through on-road and road-side signs and indicators such as traffic lights, stop signs, lane dividers, etc.

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