Automation stories – Emma Johansson

My name is Emma Johansson. I work at Volvo Group Trucks Technology
with advanced research. Automation presents challenges. You
can have lower levels of automation where the driver is still
supposed to be in charge, but will get extra support
from what we can offer. We make sure that the systems behave
according to what the driver wants and to his or her intentions
and actions. The systems should enhance
your behaviour, not counteract it. Higher levels of automation
present different challenges. For situations where we offer
a high level of automation we may remove the driver
from the main road as a driver. The driver may be able to do some tasks
that can be dangerous when driving manually. Talk on the phone
or maybe even relax from time to time. A lot of the work is collaborative,
we have multidisciplinary teams. We have such a wide range of people. People that come from
different parts of the world and have different
experiences and expertise. We want to bring in customers
and drivers throughout the development. One way to do this is to use a simulator. It’s a very controlled environment
where you can test risky scenarios, which wouldn’t be okay
to test on a real road. However, we also want to test
our systems on real roads and see how drivers actually use them
in a realistic driving context. The way we use virtual reality
technology in the automation field is, for example, when
we want to present an interior for a driver or an employee
working in that field. You can also look at the interaction
between an automated vehicle communicating with
a pedestrian or a person on the ground and design exterior communication
between the vehicle and the person. Regardless of the environment where
we bring in customers and drivers, we study how they behave – and the
interaction with the automated system. We want to know if the system
behaves in a way that is compatible to
what the driver expects and make sure that the final outcome
is safe, comfortable and useful.

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