Driverless Car Technology | Future of Automobiles :

By 2025, The autonomous self – driving automobile industry will be worth over 900 Billion USD. 12 Major automobile giants already have a working prototype and some doing large scale field trials different parts of the world (like Google, Tesla, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Audi, BMW).

So roughly 3 mini-computers, 16 sensors , 3 Cameras + half a dozen Radars take control of the car & its mechanics

This is how it finally fits into the bill:

  • Radar sensors dotted around the car monitor the position of vehicles nearby.
  • Video cameras detect traffic lights, read road signs and keep track of other vehicles, while also looking out for pedestrians and other obstacles.
  • Lidar sensors help to detect the edges of roads and identify lane markings by bouncing pulses of light off the car’s surroundings.
  • Ultrasonic sensors in the wheels can detect the position of curbs and other vehicles when parking.
  • Finally, a central computer analyses all of the data from the various sensors to manipulate the steering, acceleration and braking.

This is just the start. As the technology gets cheaper, the driverless car future will increasingly become a reality.

From reducing the number of accidents, to improving emissions compliance and easing congestion, the driverless revolution has begun, and that includes trials in various UK locations.

The driverless technology industry is expected to be worth 900 billion $ globally by 2025 and is currently growing by 16 per cent a year.

Plus machines are much better at following rules than humans; motorway signs advising drivers to slow down or not change lane to avoid creating jams are often ignored by motorists – not so a computer.

So how do driverless cars work? There are several systems that work in conjunction with each other to control a driverless car.

About | Vehicle autonomy levels

SAE International, the engineering standards body, defines six levels of vehicle autonomy. These are used to evaluate the technological sophistication of any driving automation system, based on the amount of human interaction required.

Level 0: Effectively a standard vehicle that can issue warnings to the driver but has no control.

Level 1: Fairly commonplace technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Parking Assistance with automated steering, and Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA) Type II. The driver must be ready to take control at any point.

Level 2: The driver must keep track of objects and events, in case the automated system fails to respond properly. However, the car can accelerate, brake and steer by itself.

Level 3: The car is capable of monitoring its surroundings and within relatively predictable contexts, such as motorway driving, the driver safely so other things – although must still be ready to take back control if needed.

Level 4: The vehicle can drive by itself in all but the most unpredictable environments. The driver does not normally need to pay attention once the autonomous system is activated.

Level 5: No human intervention is required, other than setting the destination. The vehicle is capable of driving safely by itself and making appropriate decisions.

Autonomous Car

Autonomous Car

So some Interesting Questions to think :

Will there still be crashes? Around 94 percent of total vehicular accidents involve human error and therefore are potentially avoidable. Driverless cars could make roads significantly safer.

Will there be less congestion? Automated vehicles (AV’s) will enable a higher density of passengers per road mile thus making traffic move more efficiently.

Will all cars be autonomous? Autonomous vehicles are expected to comprise 25 percent of the global market between 2035 and 2040.

Will I need a driving licence? The UK government makes a distinction between highly automated vehicles and fully automated vehicles. For AVs rules might change as they may appeal to drivers who can’t or don’t wish to drive regular cars.

Will I still need to buy insurance? Yes, though it might depend on the car’s manufacturer. Companies like Volvo have confirmed they will self-insure their automated cars.

Big News in this industry 
Uber is already testing driverless systems using Volvos XC90s in the US, in San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Arizona. On Nov, 2017 it signed a deal with Volvo to buy a fleet of 24,000 autonomous cars.