By Autonomous vehicles, it means it must “see” and “think” in real road situations, in response to their environment. This could mean bypassing a child who suddenly runs into the street or determining whether to cross an intersection with a yellow light. But the polls show that people are worried about driving in a vehicle without a driver, despite the assertion that roads would be less dangerous with robots. Cars without drivers will soon arrive in a street near you.
A self-driven car sometimes called an autonomous car or car without a driver, is a vehicle using a combination of sensors, cameras, radar, and artificial intelligence (AI) to move between destinations without a human operator. To be qualified as fully autonomous, a vehicle must be able to navigate without human intervention to a predetermined destination on roads not suitable for its use.
Companies developing and/or testing standalone cars include Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo. The Google test involved a fleet of self-driven cars-including a Toyota Prius and an Audi TT-running over 140 000 km of California streets and highways.
Autonomy levels in self-contained cars
The U.S. National Road Safety Administration defines six levels of automation, starting with zero, where man drives, using driving technology to fully autonomous cars. Below are the five levels that follow full automation automobiles:
Level 1: The Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) assists the driver in driving, braking or accelerating, but not simultaneously. The ADAS includes back-up cameras and features such as a vibrating seat warning to alert drivers when they leave the traffic lane.
Level 2: An ADAS capable of directing and braking or accelerating simultaneously while leaving the driver fully conscious behind the steering wheel.
Level 3: An Automated driving system (ADS) can perform all driving tasks under certain circumstances, such as car parking. In these circumstances, the human driver must be ready to regain control and must always be the main driver of the vehicle.
Level 4: An ADS is able to perform all driving tasks on road and are able to monitor the driving environment in certain circumstances. In these circumstances, the ADS system is reliable enough for the driver not to be attentive.
Level 5: The ADS of the vehicle acts as a virtual driver and ensures all driving conditions in all circumstances. Human occupants are like passengers and they will never have to drive the vehicle.
Starting in 2018, car manufacturers reached level 3. Stand-alone vehicles have at least a few years of rest because they have to go through a series of technological milestones and a number of important problems need to be resolved before autonomous vehicles can be bought and used.
How independent cars work
AI Technologies Feed autonomous car systems. Standalone car developers use vast amounts of data from image recognition systems, as well as neural networks and automatic learning, to create systems capable of self-driving.
Neural networks identify models in the data, which are then passed on to the automatic learning algorithms. These data include images from cameras on stand-alone cars from which the neural network learns to identify themselves as traffic lights, trees, sidewalks, pedestrians, traffic signs and other elements of a given driving environment.
For example, the Google standalone car project, called Waymo, uses a combination of sensors, lidar (light detection and telemetry-a technology similar to radar) and cameras, combining all the data generated by these systems to identify vehicle and predict what these objects could do next. This happens in a few fractions of a second. The system learns more as it works, so it works on progress learning.
How do Google Waymo vehicles work:
- The driver (or passenger) defines a destination. The car software calculates a route.
- A rotating, roof-mounted Lidar sensor monitors a range of 60 metres around the car and creates a dynamic 3d map of the current car environment.
- A sensor located on the left rear wheel monitors the lateral movements to detect the position of the car in relation to the 3d card.
- The radar systems in the front and rear bumpers calculate the distances to the obstacles.
- The artificial intelligence software of the car is connected to all sensors and collects the entries of Google Street view and video cameras inside the car.
- Artificial intelligence simulates the processes of human perception and decision-making, as well as control actions in driving systems such as steering and brakes.
- The car software consults Google Maps to be informed beforehand of landmarks, signs and traffic lights.
- A derogation function is available to allow a human to take control of the vehicle.
If self-contained cars can dramatically reduce the number of collisions, the economic benefits could be enormous. Injuries have an impact on economic activity, including 57.6 million in workplace productivity losses and 594 million due to loss of lives and quality of life degradation following injuries , according to the NHTSA.
By 2040, annual sales of autonomous cars could exceed 33 million. Currently, only Tier 2 cars are available to the public. In 2021, BMW plans to sell level 3 and Ford, to sell level 4 to consumers. So we can expect we will have an autonomous cars on road very soon.
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