Seltz-Axmacher says that the unexpected issue demonstrates that the autonomous truck, though largely controlled remotely in the teleoperations centre, can create its own decisions when quick action is necessary.
“By having this safety architecture in place, you are able to be certain that when a failure occurs, even weird failures that have never happened to us before, we’ll catch them. If we catch them, we’ll come to a halt,” Seltz-Axmacher said. The vehicle, built by Starsky Robotics, put out on Florida roadways because of its first fully driverless test run, with no individual onboard anyplace, in the middle of February. However, the driver-less semi automobile, controlled in part by signals from a teleoperations center, only traveled about two miles before coming to a slow, unplanned stop directly in the middle of the highway.
“I’m thinking, ‘This is not planned,’ ” explained Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, who followed the semi truck in a distinct lead automobile during its short lived journey. The world’s first fully driverless semi truck came to a stop in the center of a Florida street during its test run every month after the headquarters commanding the car lost power.
“We get out and turn off the engine and start exploring….” He continued. “Decisions where teleoperations are involved require 5 to 15 minutes to make; they’re not safety critical. It is ‘I’m stuck behind a vehicle. Should I not? Those types of decisions are easy to make in the office,” clarified Seltz-Axmacher. “Of all the various flaws which could have occurred, all those things we tested and expected, we never analyzed shut down the power to the building,” Seltz-Axmacher explained.
Once power to the building was revived, the autonomous semi rail completed five more miles of the test path before returning to headquarters. The following day the same semi truck traveled along the same 7 mile stretch of road, this time without a single matter.
Initially, the group was baffled, however they soon discovered the reason behind the inexplicable stop: the teleoperations centre responsible for remotely controlling the semi truck had undergone a power outage.