For many years batteries have been self-destructive, either slowly or explosively, as a direct cause of the reactions they are designed to create: chemicals interacting to produce heat and current. Disposing of that heat is only one challenge to battery management. In autonomous vehicles (AVs), more sensors, operating at differing voltages and speeds, add not only heat but a widely varying load on the battery as the vehicle maneuvers without a driver.
New batteries that use materials and perform chemical reactions still in research will need even stronger, more precise battery management technology, according to an article that also notes the vast differences in power and efficiency between batteries and fossil fuels. The author said that regulations cannot solely be relied upon to enforce safety rules for battery management, which must become more accurate and reliable as batteries become more powerful.
Even the most well-made battery units are unpredictable for life and speed of decline in performance; a battery that degrades long before its volatility is gone is potentially explosive. Autonomous vehicles present an opportunity and challenge to these designers: batteries must be protected from errors and cyber attacks through wireless networks, which demands more powerful security for these networks. Battery controllers, like others in the vehicle, will report to the internal system and outside monitors through wired and wireless contacts.