Automatic Vehicle Driving hides another extremely
important benefit, that first triggered the interest in this
new field of application. The on-board equipment and technology
that allows a vehicle to drive autonomously can also be exploited as
a safety enhancement in a more general meaning.
The autopilot can be switched to the more static task of monitoring the driver's activities. In case of dangerous situations -such as driver's illness or drowsiness-, the equipment understands the risk and warns the driver or even takes control of the vehicle, starting an emergency manoeuvre and stopping the vehicle on the emergency lane, or keeping the vehicle on the driving lane at a constant speed until the driver resumes control. The autopilot, considered in this second function, behaves like an active security system able to prevent accidents, like the Anti Breaking System, ABS.
Furthermore, such systems can be seen also as an aid for disabled people with difficulties in the driving task: visually and motion impaired people can benefit from the help of a driving assistance and supervisor system.