Autonomous Vehicles and Software Architectures

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Author: Anonymous Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 10:07:54 AM EDT Subject:Week 1 Discussion 2 "Autonomous Vehicles and Software Architectures " Please respond to the following: * Autonomous vehicles utilize integrated imaging and vision systems, sensor systems, and control systems to “drive a car”. Determine what you believe are the top-five challenges of integrating these systems. Provide one example for each challenge and explain why you believe it is a challenge. * Explain whether you believe there is a difference between designing and developing software for distributed architectures and stand-alone, non-distributed systems. Provide at least five reasons to support your position. Autonomous Vehicles and Top-Five Challenges

1.) Just for starters, who would be responsible for accidents? Software used in such cars would have to have the same basic reactions as humans, and if there is a computational fault that causes a crash, would the driver or the software-making firm be at fault? Not only this, but vehicle safety standards would have to be assessed and potentially rewritten to account for electronics as well as mechanics — and knowing how governments work, this could take a while.

2.) No system is faultless, and everything has a chance of failure. But if a computer system fails when you’re on the highway, not only could it prove more dangerous than usual — as your attention is unlikely to be fully on the road if something else is in control — and so a self-driving car would have to come with a plethora of safety mechanisms in place to cater for these issues. Not only this, but such a system would have to be able to react to unexpected situations. For example, how would an autonomous car react if a child ran out into a road? The technology may be shiny and new, but safety will prove a massive challenge before this kind of technology will be allowed to see the light of day when it comes down to the general public. Specifically, driving in snow is proving challenging because the snow covers the markers and visual cues that the autonomous sensor technology relies on to pilot a vehicle on its own. 3.) There also may be problems with new roads or changes in street names as well as with situations in which police are manually directing traffic. 4.) Another challenge is driving through construction zones, accident zones, or other situations in which a human is directing traffic with hand signals. The cars are excellent at observing stop signs, traffic lights, speed limits, the behavior of other cars, and other common cues that human drivers use to figure out how fast to go and where and when to turn. But when a human is directing traffic with hand signals--and especially when these hand signals conflict with a traffic light or stop sign--the cars get confused.

5.) Data Challenges: An enormous amount of data will become available for alternative usage, which is likely to present challenges and opportunities pertaining to data security, privacy concerns, and data analytics and aggregation. Privacy concerns must be resolved to enable the deployment of integrated sensor-based and cooperative vehicle technologies. A balance between privacy protection interests and other affected interests is essential to resolve conflicts between the stakeholders who will make decisions about how information is collected, archived, and distributed. Potential stakeholder concerns are numerous: disclosure of vehicle data could reveal trade secrets; public personalities, such as politicians and celebrities, could be connected to potentially embarrassing locations or routes; and ordinary citizens could find themselves spammed or stalked as the data enables a variety of harmful applications such a as commercial misuse, public corruption, and identity theft. And what’s to prevent nefarious governments from using the expanded surveillance capabilities to spy on their citizens?

Data Security: Numerous security threats...
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