Driverless Cars – Overcoming Challenges and Progressing towards Arrival
What was once only a sci-fi film fantasy is now coming into reality! Yes, we are talking about driverless cars! Autonomous car technology is taking shape and it’s highly probable that driverless cars will fill the roads in the near future. What’s more, Tesla’s driverless Autopilot system has already been tested on UK roads, Google is working on its automated technology in the wild and even Apple is said to be working in association with BMW on its own car, which is most probably automated.
Totally driverless technology is still at its advanced experimental stage, but partially automated tech has been around for past some years. For example, executive saloons such as the BMW7 Series sport automated parking and are even able to be controlled remotely.
Heavy investment is also being made on autonomous technology around the world. Visit whichdriverless.com where you can get all the news about driverless cars.
With so much interest and investment in driverless technology, it can be easily assumed that driverless cars are imminent. However, they can be much far away from what we are imagining. Before all the roads are full of self-operating cars, manufacturers will have to deal with a hoard of technical as well as ethical challenges, and the biggest danger to autonomous technology – humans!
Eight Sensors on the Google Model
There is a range of sensors on autonomous cars to let them interact with the surrounding world and Google car model has eight such sensors.
The most remarkable is the rotating LIDAR camera on the roof-top that uses either 32 or 64 lasers to calculate the distance between objects, thereby developing a 3D map at a 200m range and thus enabling the car to sense hazards well ahead of time.
The vehicle also features another type of “eyes”, which is a regular camera pointing through the windscreen. This finds nearby hazards such as cyclists, other motorists and pedestrians, and reads road signs and detects traffic signals. Also, regarding other motorists, the radar mounted on the bumper, tracks other vehicles in the front and at backside of the car.
It’s commonly believed that a linkage between vehicles and traffic infrastructure is required. Thus car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure contact is essential for making autonomous driving possible. One of the strongest advocates of a connected car-traffic infrastructure is the German automobile industry. In the early months of this year, automakers such as BMW, Audi and Daimler paid $3.1 billion for the mapping service of Nokia Here which will be utilized as a platform for connected-car environment.
Addressing challenges one-by-one, the driverless car technology is progressing ahead and the day is not far when we can see these cars on the roads and even own them, while they are made faultless to the highest possible extent.