To Save Lives With Automation, Look To The Human Brai

The media frenzy surrounding increasing levels of vehicle automation is currently setting false expectations of imminent and significant improvements in road safety when in fact they are years away. While I believe that these efforts to improve road safety will eventually succeed, they are distracting attention from an option that could be available right now and will significantly increase road safety in every single vehicle on the road today. Such a system would not be automation alone, but would be built on insight into human cognition as much as artificial intelligence, improving human performance in automated and manually-driven vehicles alike.

This system is what I am working on today, and I call it the “Cognition Layer.” Before explaining what it is and how it works, it’s important to understand why the rise of automation makes understanding and measuring human cognition more important than ever.