Autonomous Driving

Kendrick James


Autonomous driving is the process by which a car can drive itself without the use of human aid. The first models were unveiled in Japan in 1977. Since then, cars have become much more sophisticated. However, they are required to do some basic tasks: plan a route, understand and then analyze the environment around it, find its way through traffic, and then move. Because traffic patterns are unpredictable and rarely repeated, these cars react and learn from new situations almost constantly. They use lasers and sonar to determine distances between cars to eliminate crashes. When sonar signals indicate that the car is closing in are the car in front, brakes are applied proportionately based on the distance and speed. Obviously, the latest GPSs help lead them on the correct route.

Driverless cars are a very controversial subject with worries about safety for passengers as well as safety of other drivers. Furthermore, what are the consequences of a driverless car getting hacked or infected with malware. How would the computers react? All of these issues are being researched to insure that when criverless cars meet the mainstream, they will be abe to safely transport their precious cargo. IN the mean time, we can marvel at the ones that alread work and stories of long distance travels, such as Google’s cross California trip, or another company’s trek across parts of Asia.

One response to “Autonomous Driving”

  1. Lekan

    Autonomous vehicles truly use the state of the art in computer vision. They need to be able to tell the difference between road signs and advertising, then comprehend what they say. They need to see the curb or edge of the road across varying road conditions and edge types, and differentiate that from, say some sand on the road, or other routine material.We know that lots of small tree branches on the road probably won’t be a problem for an average car, but how does the car know? As far as it can tell, it could be a whole fallen tree. On top of that it needs to quickly recognize people and moving hazards, and differentiate that from all the visual clutter of cities.

    It really is a difficult problem.

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