Data-Driven Driving: Paving the Way for a Future with AVs

Autonomous driving could produce substantial value for drivers, the auto industry, and society. But even after some setbacks that have pushed.

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Autonomous Vehicles

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With technological development happening across sectors and around the world, the automotive industry has always embraced evolution. The market is experiencing growth due to a heightened emphasis on vehicle safety, driven by government regulations mandating the integration of safety features. Additionally, the expanding vehicle-sharing market and the growing consumer preference for driving convenience are anticipated to contribute to the market's continued growth.


Autonomous vehicles represent its most recent development. While India’s Autonomous Vehicle (AV) market is still in anascent stage, special-purpose vehicles and commercial vehicles may well be among the early adopters in a controlled environment.

A road towards safety

Some autonomous vehicles around the world are causing a stir for causing traffic jams and getting stuck in wet cement - stoking up concerns that AVs might not be ready to be rolled out on a large scale just yet. Minor mishaps aside, the reality is that up to 99% of road accidents are still caused by human error. 


What if - once better trained on past data - AVs could actually make the conditions on the road better and safer for all? While this might sound like a stretch given recent events, evidence shows that the technology to make driving safer is already in place today.

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as emergency braking and blind-spot warnings, are increasingly popular in cars, with studies suggesting they could prevent 40% of passenger-vehicle crashes.

Future AVs are likely to go beyond ADAS, using advanced cameras and sensors for a real-time 360-degree view of the road, aiding rapid safety decisions by the vehicle's computer. Although self-driving tech is evolving, pairing it with human oversight can already reduce accidents caused by human errors like driver fatigue, promising a safer driving experience.


How AVs are beneficial to today’s world

AVs provide more than safety benefits. They enhance public transportation efficiency and affordability by reducing the need for human drivers in buses, taxis, and private hire cars. This not only ensures safer rides but also cuts costs for commuters. AVs offer an opportunity for inclusive transport redesign, benefiting passengers with disabilities who cannot drive. Freed-up space from removing the driver’s seat can accommodate assistive devices like powered wheelchairs. Furthermore, AVs collect data that can optimize traffic control, informing authorities to deploy more AV buses during busy times, improving traffic flow. This data-driven approach extends to supporting sustainability initiatives, aiding in carbon reduction policy recommendations, and helping countries meet environmental goals.

Enhancing AV’s capabilities through training and better infrastructure


Despite clear benefits, skepticism persists around AV technology in India. Firstly, there are safety concerns that include unproven technology, inadequate road infrastructure, and cybersecurity threats. In addition to this, regulatory uncertainty, ethical issues that include job displacement, data privacy, algorithmic bias, high technology costs, and public trust challenges further delay progress. India's unique driving culture and potential resistance from segments of society add additional complexity. Addressing these multifaceted concerns is crucial for successful AV integration in India.

To overcome these challenges, it is imperative to enhance the road infrastructure that aligns with ADAS requirements. The ADAS function largely depends on proper road markings and signages, therefore it requires camera installation, radars and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDARS) to predict and analyze the behaviour of other road users to make decisions on vehicle movement. 

Additionally, it is crucial to  improve supporting infrastructure and policies. We need more networks, data centers, expertise and investment to drive success. Vehicles generate an immense amount of data. Without the proper infrastructure and data management processes to analyze this data quickly and cost-effectively, we will continue to face slow progress.


On the software side, organizations must prioritize effective data management for diverse sources, such as traffic, weather, and terrain conditions, to enhance AI algorithms in autonomous vehicles (AVs). This is crucial for real-time decision-making. Robust data management platforms are essential for extracting valuable insights from AV datasets.

Automakers such as SAIC Volkswagen, one of the oldest automotive joint ventures in China, are making strides in data management, developing platforms to handle large volumes of data from smart vehicles. These platforms not only aid compliance with regulations but also enable innovative services for customers, such as real-time vehicle status checks and intelligent navigation. As more automakers embrace such data management solutions, they will play a key role in handling the complex data streams from AVs.

AVs are just at the starting point, but we can work together to move faster


We’re at the very beginning of unlocking the vast potential of AI, and AVs present opportunities to collectively advance societal good. Regardless of the news we currently see on AVs - the truth remains: technology is a tool, whether it is used to drive positive change or cause harm to society is dependent on how organizations, governments and humanity choose to use technology.

AVs in India for the mass market segment may be a distant dream but with advanced technology and better infrastructure, it will soon become a viable option. The country's large and growing population, coupled with its rapidly developing economy, will create a huge potential market for AVs.

-By Piyush Agarwal, SE Leader, Cloudera

DQ Online