For more than a century, internal combustion engines have provided the soundtrack to cities.
Walking through a city centre, the noise is constantly there. It’s a part of life in the city – and in the suburbs too. Those sounds – while annoying to some – are vital for safety. There are other aspects of driving today that bolster safety too – thanks to a language of human-to-human communication.
Take, for instance, the eye contact between road users that establishes the fact that “yes, I see you” or that friendly “go ahead” wave. But what if a car no longer makes a noise and it has no driver? What then? Autonomous cars will still have to communicate with pedestrians and cyclists – we just have to create a new, universal language for them.
Here Mikael Ljung Aust, senior technical leader for collision avoidance functions at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre, points out some of the challenges and the solutions.