Agreed! My 2010 car has had more computer/electrical issues than I care for. I miss the days when the car didn't think so much for me. What we really need in the US is enforcement of laws. Enforce "distracted driving" laws and keep cars simple.
Depending on the current state of the vehicle the stop might not be too 'smooth'. Anyway - following current legislation (hopefully not only here in Germany implemented that way) the following driver has to keep a distance that enables him to stop without touching.
Regarding a piston seizure (still heard of regarding vans/ buses) might create a significantly shorter stopping distance if nothing else breaks.
"...safe state is "stopped". Thus all propulsion components are - relatively - easy to implement."
I also had the same thought in my mind that safe state would be a smooth stop, Then a question occurred to me...what would happen in a busy highway where, all the vehicles are moving at high speed and suddenly a car stops due to a failure...would that be safe for others behind? I did not find the answer yet.
We can't even eradicate "unintentional acceleration" or deal with key chains laden with half a dozen keys in cars, yet designers and companies are unwilling to even admit to such problems right now. The cost of a standard automobile continues to rise faster than the cost-of-living and the electronics in a car costs 5x what a consumer-level equivalent would cost - and it's even higher when bought over the dealers' parts counter. We're a long way from a car driving itself successfully or cheaply. So stay sober and stop reading your phone. Or maybe your seat will buzz you to attention.
Regarding the safe state, automobiles are not that critical: Believe it or not - he safe state is "stopped". Thus all propulsion components are - relatively - easy to implement.
Other things like braking or airbag are much more challenging thinking of autonomous vehicles: if ABS detects a failure it is sufficient to light the MIL (malfunction indicator lamp). This will not really help in an autonomous vehicle...
I would say, a fail-safe system for Autonomous cars , where a worst case scenario could be the engine failure, A back up system with a battery powered drive and braking system and the software that could take the car to the curbside safely- the way it is done for autonomous lifts when there is a power failure.
When a safety system is designed and accessed, it stresses on defining the safety function of the system and also it stresses in defining "safe state" of the system in case there is a failure. The intention behind designing a functional safety critical system is only to minimize "undetected dangerous" failures. Hence as per the safety standards, ISO26262 / IEC 61508, there are limits set for probability of dangerous failure (PoDF) & Safe faulre fraction (SFF);
Hence, a safety system is allowed to fail but shall fail safely. I wonder what would be the "safe failure" for ADAS if a potentially dangerous failure is detected or if there is a "safe failure"....what would be the safe state then? Engine shutdown? Certainly not? on a highway this could create troubles.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.