How Will Automated Driving Systems Affect Motorhomes and Campervans

camper vans and GNX

If you would have asked the people from the 50’s or 70’s how they imagine the transportation of the future, most likely they would have mentioned some form of self-driving cars, completely automated and safe, in sync with each other and preserving people’s time while eliminating road-blocks and accidents.

Today’s ADAS (advanced driving assistance systems) are bringing that vision closer and closer to reality and we can hope that in the next 20-30 years we will have motorhomes or camping vans that are small smart homes, making simple decisions like the best route, keeping a safe distance and self-parking themselves in the best spot, of our choice.

The industry is making important steps in that direction, but further innovation is needed, in order to come to a common centralized standard. James Hodgson, Industry Analyst at ABI Research, explains:

“The distributed approach to ADAS systems will prove unsustainable as companies look to deliver highly automated driving around 2020.The new centralized ADAS architectures will unify sensing, processing, and actuation to deliver integrated decision-making for smooth path planning and effective collision avoidance.[…] We are fast approaching the end of what can be achieved in automation within the confines of legacy architectures. Vendors across the ecosystem need to take this time to plan accordingly in order to appropriately manage the industry transition toward centralized ADAS architectures.”

Camping should be a relaxing activity for all those involved, and although sometimes the road up to a nice destination is half of the fun, with riddles, songs and joy, it is not fun and games for the driver who is responsible for the lives of the passengers, usually friends and family.

The research division of leading companies has constantly invested in producing systems that can make vehicles “communicate” with each-other and the existing infrastructure, such as road signs and traffic lights to avoid collisions and traffic jams. The struggle is to eliminate the need for driver takeover at difficult moments, and to allow all the people in the vehicle to relax and enjoy time with the loved ones, much like they would do if they were using public transport.

During CES 2016, the leading technology convention, QNX (owned by BlackBerry) has announced the introduction of a new platform which stands out by:

“The QNX OS for Safety, a highly reliable OS pre-certified at all of the automotive safety integrity levels needed for automated driving systems. […] an OS architecture that can simplify the integration of new sensor technologies and purpose-built ADAS processors.”

These are important steps due to the fact that the technology can already:

“perform real-time analysis of complex traffic scenarios to enhance driver awareness or enable various levels of automated driving and allows cars to “talk” to each other and to traffic infrastructure (e.g. traffic lights) to prevent collisions and improve traffic flow.”

This opens the door to stress- free camping, when people can just get in their smart van in the evening, have a good night’s sleep while they are driven towards the camping spot and enjoy a nice morning coffee in a breath-taking scenery. In this scenario, the camping trips could be 1-2 days longer, since the driving time and the pressure on the driver will be eliminated.

Last but not least, self driving motorhomes and camper vans will probably have integrated luxury and leisure options and will do the judging for you. Just imagine you input on a touch screen the features you want from your next holiday and the van browses an existing library, possibly connected to something like satellite maps of available camping spots, until it finds the perfect one.

Yet, until you will be able to select directly from your smart van’s menu the option to go to a “cozy forest with river running by, no more than 60 miles away from current location”, you can enjoy the   simple selection process of Campervan Hire and be sure to get the smartest option, at least budget-wise.