How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?
UNITED STATES – An online article at daimler.com discusses how autonomous vehicles work and how they will operate on our roadways in the future.*
It might not seem like it, but every time you drive your car, you are performing an extraordinary task. It takes a lot of concentration, monitoring, and reasoning to move your vehicle from one point to another without a crash. Autonomous vehicle developers are finding out just how difficult it can be to replicate the steps humans take every time they’re inside cars – steps they take without really thinking about them.
In late 2019, companies Daimler and Bosch are planning to launch a pilot project in California for fully automated vehicles. The companies’ goal is to roll out automated vehicles for production sometime in 2020. But the vehicles need a lot of practice before then with situations human drivers encounter and react to every day, like debris in the roadway, pedestrians, bicyclists, e-scooters, skateboards, animals, etc.
Autonomous vehicles deal with these situations though integrated systems, including cameras, radar, ultrasound, and lidar. The vehicles have programmed beginning and ending points and use high-resolution maps and sensors to make routes and avoid collisions. The vehicles are equipped with powerful computers that make decisions about what the sensors are picking up and how the car should respond.
“Precise classification and the recognition of details represent a major breakthrough in this field,” said Markus Enzweiler, head of lidar systems for Daimler. “A fully automated vehicle doesn’t just see objects; it also knows to a certain extent whether or not that object is a person or a vehicle, and even what type of vehicle, and it has knowledge of the characteristics of the object it sees.”
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