Companies will also look at new ways of using environmental sensors. At present, camera, radar and lidar are generally used to support driving tasks. Going forward, it will be increasingly attractive to use these sensors for occupant sensing, further improving the ability to work with other vehicle systems to further help improve protection for occupants. Consumers will expect new vehicles to have the capability to see, think and act. The way in which the industry thinks about vehicle safety will likely change as a result.
“We have been looking at how our R&D will change as well,” says Laakmann. “We are working to make safety systems more cognitive by combining all the sensing and computing capabilities and to make safety integral to everything an automated vehicle can do. It is only by thinking in this way that the auto industry can prepare for the exponential change that is starting to happen.”