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Auto History Museum to Add First Self-Driving Test Vehicles

The GM-donated vehicle originally made its debut testing on the streets of San Francisco in 2016

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FILE - Several Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles are shown during a tour of the General Motors Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, Nov. 4, 2016. VOA

One of General Motors’ first self-driving test vehicles is going on display at an automotive history museum in suburban Detroit.

The Henry Ford history attraction announced Tuesday that it has acquired a modified pre-production Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle.

auto museum
FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, file photo, General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra speaks next to a autonomous Chevrolet Bolt electric car, in Detroit. VOA

The GM-donated vehicle originally made its debut testing on the streets of San Francisco in 2016. Now it will be displayed at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn.

The camera- and sensor-equipped vehicle is the first autonomous car to be added to The Henry Ford collection. It’ll be next to a 1959 Cadillac El Dorado at the “Driving America” exhibit, which chronicles the history of the automobile.

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The Henry Ford President and CEO Patricia Mooradian says self-driving capabilities “will fundamentally change our relationship with the automobile.” She says the acquisition “is paramount in how we tell that story.” (VOA)

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Self-driving Cars Can be a Potential Game-changer for Older Adults: Researchers

It was also found that older drivers tended to exhibit worse takeover quality in terms of operating the steering wheel, the accelerator and the brake, increasing the risk of an accident, Li added

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Google's self-driving car. Flickr

Self-driving cars can be a potential game-changer for older adults aged above 60 and can help in minimizing the risk of accidents, say, researchers.

“There are several levels of automation, ranging from zero where the driver has complete control, through to level five where the car is in charge… this will allow the driver to be completely disengaged, they can sit back and watch a film, eat, even talk on the phone,” said Shuo Li from the Newcastle University in the UK.

“But, unlike level four or five, there are still some situations where the car would ask the driver to take back control and at that point, they need to be back in driving mode within a few seconds,” Li said.

For the study published in the journal Transportation Research, the researchers examined 76 volunteers, divided into two age groups (20-35 and 60-81), and studied the time it takes for older drivers to take back control of an automated car in different scenarios and also the quality of their driving in these different situations.

They experienced automated driving for a short period and were then asked to take back control of a highly automated car and avoid a stationary vehicle.

Uber, bengaluru
Toyota Motor Corp. recently invested $500 million in working with Uber on self-driving technology for the ride-hailing service.

It was found that in clear conditions, the quality of driving was good but the reaction time of older volunteers was significantly slower than the younger drivers. It took older drivers about 8.3 seconds to negotiate obstacles compared to around 7 seconds for the younger age group.

“At 60mph, that means older drivers would have needed an extra 35m warning distance – that’s equivalent to the length of 10 cars,” said Li.

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It was also found that older drivers tended to exhibit worse takeover quality in terms of operating the steering wheel, the accelerator and the brake, increasing the risk of an accident, Li added.

The researchers concluded that fully automated cars which are unlikely to require a license and could negotiate bad weather and unfamiliar cities under all situations without input from the driver can be a potential game-changer for older adults and help in avoiding accidents. (IANS)