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Get the basics right

John McCarthy | 09 Sep 2015 | Comments

They’re coming. Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) are on their way. But there are lots of questions around their use and their value. Are we afraid of their arrival and should we be? The simple answer is no, but the fact of the matter is that we need to better understand what CAVs can offer us, and more importantly, we need to TRUST them. To get to that point, wouldn’t it make sense to have a way of validating the components and the systems around connected and autonomous vehicles so that we know how good they really are? Doesn’t it make sense to independently verify performance and have a real benchmark around the behaviours of CAVs? Ignoring the technology, isn’t it sensible to reach out to people, you and I, in order to understand what the real life concerns around CAV deployments actually are and come up with a solution that matches demand with supply?

Security is another huge question. A lot of questions and unknowns must be resolved before confidence in CAVs are established. How safe is a CAV from a cyber-attack, and how would you even know it is happening and if you did, what would you do about it? That is a question that must be answered not just by the owner, but by the cities and insurers also. The importance of monitoring cyber security across the physical and virtual network is paramount. The ability to assess, detect, counter, and survive a cyber-threat must be fundamental principles of operation, not just for CAV but across the whole digitisation of services. In order to get to that point and maintain a high level of confidence requires an understanding of how the physical and virtual world exist now and in the future and how your organisation is prepared to address this.

From a cities perspective, it’s also important to think about how CAVs can become part of the business as usual activities around network management. Imagine being able to tap into all that intelligence that will flow around one of these super computer on wheels, and really use it in a way that transforms network strategies and capacity optimisation. How can this be done in a way that links the old world with the new? How can this transition occur and who will take the lead? Again, from a customer experience, imagine the CAV being a virtual friend to the traveller, helping them and making their journey stress free. It really is a game changer and the opportunities are huge. But we have to get the fundamentals right.

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