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Audi Traffic Jam Pilot Knows If You're Sleeping

Audi's new Traffic Jam Pilot (TJP) is billed as the "the world’s first true SAE Level 3 autonomous driving system". As a part of its sensor array, it knows if the driver is sleeping - and that's not allowed.


(Audi Traffic Jam Pilot (TJP) software)

Here’s how TJP works: When a nose-to-tail traffic jam slows you to below 37 mph on a multilane highway where opposing traffic is separated by guard rails or concrete, the cluster announces “Traffic Jam Pilot available.” Pressing the “Audi AI” button on the console then changes the edge lines on the instrument cluster from white to green, and you’re off duty. Steer or touch the pedals, and you’re back in control. You must remain ready to take over within 10 seconds, so the car monitors your head using an infrared camera. If it senses that you’re sleeping or nonresponsive—or if the end of the highway is approaching, or if a lane change becomes necessary (TJP doesn’t change lanes)—the system directs you to take over. First the cluster-edge lines change to red with a message, followed by a warning tone. The car then slows down, jabs the brakes, and tightens the seat belt. Finally it stops in the lane, engages the parking brake and hazard signals, unlocks the doors, and calls for help.

Pesky machines. Harry Harrison warned us about this in his 1955 short story The Velvet Glove:

Hours dragged slowly by and still his hopper was empty. The truck rumbled forward and stopped. Forward and stop. The motion lulled him and he was tired. He leaned forward and laid his head gently on the list of varieties of garbage, his eyes closed.

"Sleeping is forbidden while at work. This is warning number one."

The hatefully familiar voice blasted from behind his head and he started with surprise.

Also, I hate to break the news to Audi and Motor Trend, but my Tesla can do this on AutoPilot at highway speeds; this capability has been available for over a year, as far as I know. See Amazing Tesla Autopilot Video for a glimpse of its other (and as yet unreleased) abilities.

Via MotorTrend.

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