we.CONECT spoke to Alejandro Morate, Director Autonomous Drive at CEVT, who is a speaker at the 5th OSS.5 Europe 2022.
we.CONECT: Hi, Alejandro, we are thrilled to have you as our speaker at the OSS.5 Europe 2022, and we’d like to ask you a few questions about your work. Let’s start with your role: you are Director Autonomous Drive at CEVT, what is it that makes your job exciting?
Alejandro Morate: There are two things that make my job the most exciting role in town. The first one is the amazingly smart and competent people that we have in my team. This makes every day a wonder of new ideas, very smart reflections, and constant challenges which help me develop a lot and really use all my brain power.
Secondly is to be in a company where a lot of things happen quite quickly and especially when working with such a disruptive technology as Autonomous vehicles. One day we are working on a long-term strategy, the next day we are embedded in tactical decisions about suppliers, and in that afternoon, we are fixing SW code bugs for next week. This is very fun.
we.CONECT: Your case study at OSS.5 Europe 2022 will be covering the topic of safe stops in automated driving. What is the most challenging part of trajectory planning for safe stops?
Alejandro Morate: Trajectory planning is easy when the vehicle can see the obstacles and take optimal decisions, but it becomes quite challenging when due to failures the vehicle does not have the capacity to even assert if a potential trajectory is free or not. Difficult decisions need to be taken very quickly with little or no information at all and this requires a lot of preparation in the design phase.
we.CONECT: What is the most challenging part of the automated driving development cycle in your project and why?
Alejandro Morate: One of the big challenges is to assess when the vehicle is safe enough to be driven without a safety driver. Which KPIs, data, or measurements should we collect to make that assessment and prove it to a third party.
we.CONECT: How do you overcome these challenges?
Alejandro Morate: What about old-fashioned good engineering practice like: We’ve put the best people working on it and collaborating with other teams which also have the best people?
Jokes aside, the main idea behind our way of thinking to assess safety is to make an analogy with human drivers and how we become good to drive on public roads. This concept is helping us a lot in our safety process and safety strategy.
we.CONECT: What are the most promising technologies to meet the challenges of functional safety requirements for automated driving?
Alejandro Morate: Strong and powerful CPUs which allow us to have enough computing redundancy is a technology that helps a lot. Access to economical Lidar solutions is one of the keys to allowing companies to deploy large fleets of AD vehicles. And of course, we need people’s acceptance of the AD technology, which is achieved by the easiness of use, accessibility, and building trust.
we.CONECT: Do you think the safety standards renewals help achieve your project goals or hinder them?
Alejandro Morate: They definitely help since they allow us to anchor ideas, designs, processes, and ways of thinking with the best industry practices. They pave the way so that we can drive on it.
we.CONECT: You’ve already participated in our events, what makes you return to OSS.5 as a speaker?
Alejandro Morate: For several years OSS.5 has helped us to set the pace of AD development globally. It was about time that we sit in a driver position and share and challenge some of our knowledge, instead of just being passengers in the comfort zone.
we.CONECT: What are you looking forward to accomplishing at OSS.5 Europe 2022?
Alejandro Morate: Keep improving the expert network and meeting key players in the field. At the same time, listening to how the technology is developing to get inspiration for the coming months.
we.CONECT: Thank you for your time, Alejandro, we are looking forward to your session at the conference!
Alejandro Morate is presenting a case study Safe Stops in AD – Topic and implications on September 29 at 09:30.
Here is what he’ll be talking about:
Highly automated vehicles need the capability of stopping safely in a situation that disrupts continued normal operation without any environmental sensors or human interaction.
Motion planning for safe stop differs from nominal motion planning, since there is not a specific goal location. Rather, the desired behavior is that the vehicle should reach a stopped state, preferably outside of active lanes (best case). Also, the functionality to stop safely needs to be of high integrity.
How are the different legislations handling this situation?
- Theory: Safe stop problem as a benchmark optimal control problem (OCP), which cannot be used in real-time. How to transform into a computationally efficient algorithm.
- Monitoring-based system architecture concept proposal to ensure dependability of the safe stop function.
- Minimum Risk Maneouver and Conditions explanation and discussion.
- Different legislation and best industry standards.
OSS.5 Europe is the leading technical event bringing together all stakeholders who play an active role in the achievement of high-level functional, system, and operational safety for highly to fully automated driving. The fifth edition of the event will provide you with precise insights into new technical innovations, the latest updates to standards, and pressing challenges regarding operational and functional safety systems in Level 4 & 5 vehicles.