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Opinion of assistance systems: About hyperactive electronics helpers

Opinion of assistance systems
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W The year is 2012, so far unknown dangers lurk in traffic: am Road posts lolling along the way, mighty buildings, parked cars and mysterious things between sky and asphalt that only intelligent assistance systems recognize. Nasty attacks that we stupid drivers would otherwise never have noticed. Why also? Have you ever been jumped on by a wounded bridge or a dark tunnel entrance? Well, neither do I. The Mercedes emergency brake assistant recently squeaked and braked terribly before entering the car-empty Stuttgart Planietunnel - and so did me.

It rings, beeps, buzzes, shakes and flashes hysterically

Assistance systems sometimes reveal a crude view of the explosiveness of things. On some days I feel as if I'm sitting in a rural disco: it rings, beeps, buzzes, shakes and flashes hysterically in many test vehicles - and no, not only in the Japanese. Is the cart crazy? To be honest, yes - at least more often. Assistance systems are in optimal shape a boon for driving safety, no question about it. They can save a lot of tin and sometimes lives because we as humans are sometimes tired, sometimes distracted or sick and don't always react perfectly - but unfortunately the assistance things don't either. The trick is not to develop a system that constantly teases us like an overly cautious mother hen, but rather that gives us the feeling of standing by with the right reaction at the right moment.

Lane keeping assistant is a special patient

The lane keeping assistant is a special patient. Hardly anyone likes shaking, counter-joints or beeping under the hand. This is not about an impending fatal departure into botany, but Audi's active steering assistant recently resisted the gentle touch of the median. Even a Mercedes assistant developer once whispered to me: 'I always turn this thing off.' Well, congratulations! Systems in which the off button seems to be the best.

In the case of autonomous emergency braking, it becomes even more critical: just a single incorrect braking does not only destroy the driver's trust in the helper, but also the entire car . If he drops anchor by himself and for no reason (see Mercedes and the Planietunnel),is that dangerous - for me and the traffic behind me anyway. It only seems strange when the developers who are addressed react reflexively with 'Well, we have not yet experienced such problems'. We do - more often. Maybe you should drive your cars out of the garage.

Sensors are still lacking in precision

Know that the technicians in the companies exactly what the reason is: some sensors are still lacking in precision, and the fusion of radar, laser and camera systems for mutual control is not yet far enough. In addition, all manufacturers are studying hard. The warning algorithms have to be refined and their way of thinking humanized. True to the old saying: You don't believe an assistance system that once lies, and even if it speaks the truth.

When we write the year 2020, we will certainly smile at such problems, as well Like today about hyper-anxious braking interventions of the ESP system in the first Mercedes A-Class. But until then: don't bother me.


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