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How self driving or autopilot car works and its future

 

How self driving or autopilot car works and its future

Self-driving cars in which human drivers are never required to take control in order to operate the vehicle safely. Self-driving cars known as autonomous or "driverless" cars, they combine sensors and software to control, navigate and steer the vehicle.

Currently, there are no legally operated, fully-autonomous vehicles in the United States. However, there are partially autonomous vehicles—cars and trucks with varying amounts of self-automation, from conventional cars with brakes and lane assist to highly-independent, self-driving prototypes.

Although still in its infancy, self-driving technology is becoming increasingly common and could fundamentally change our transportation system (and by extension, our economy and society). Based on estimates from the automaker and technology company, Level 4 self driving cars could be for sale within the next several years.

Layers of Self Driving cars

Different cars are capable of different levels of self-driving, and are often described by researchers on a scale of 0-5.

Level 0: All major systems are controlled by humans

Level 1: Some systems, such as cruise control or automatic braking, can be controlled by the car, one at a time

Level 2: The car provides at least two simultaneous automatic functions, such as acceleration and steering, but requires humans for safe operation

Level 3: The car can handle all safety-critical functions under certain conditions, but the driver is expected to take charge when alert

Level 4: The car is fully autonomous in some driving scenarios, though not all

Level 5: The car is fully capable of self-driving in all conditions

 

How self driving or autopilot cars work

Various self-driving technologies have been developed by Google, Uber, Tesla, Nissan and other major automakers, researchers and technology companies.

While design details vary, most autopilot systems create and maintain an internal map of their surroundings based on a wide range of sensors such as radar. Uber's self-driving prototypes use sixty-four laser beams along with other sensors to build its interior map; Google's prototypes have, at various stages, used lasers, radar, high-powered cameras and sonar.

The software then processes those inputs, plots a path, and sends instructions to the vehicle's "actuators," which control acceleration, braking, and steering. Hard-coded rules, obstacle avoidance algorithms, predictive modeling, and "smart" object discrimination (i.e., knowing the difference between a bicycle and a motorcycle) help software obey traffic rules and navigate obstacles.

If the system encounters uncertainty, partially autopilot vehicles may require a human driver to intervene; fully autopilot vehicles may not even have a steering wheel.

Self driving cars can be further distinguished as having or not being "connected", indicating whether they can communicate with other vehicles and/or infrastructure, such as next-generation traffic lights.  Most prototypes currently do not have this capability.

 

There is a growing consensus among autopilot developers knowledgeable about several key aspects of the technology and its imminent deployment:

• Automated operation will be possible during the coming years only in narrowly defined conditions including mild weather, lighting, and traffic and electronically geofenced locations that have been mapped with high precision (and, in many cases, suitable Equipped with physical and digital infrastructure support (features).

• Because autopilot driving system is required to avoid all traffic hazards that face them without human driver intervention, the system must incorporate a higher level of safety assurance than driving-assistance systems that rely on human supervision.

• Autopilot driving system needs to rely on multiple independent sources of information about the driving environment and its hazards. These data come from cameras, lidar (Light Detection and Ranging System), radar and precise positioning combined with highly detailed digital maps.

• Although many autopilot driving system developers claim the ability to drive without relying on wireless communications from other vehicles—or with alerts from vulnerable road users and actual roadside infrastructure—recent research has shown that such Widespread use of autopilot driving system without cooperative communication of autopilot driving system is likely to have adverse effects on traffic flow, energy use and environmental emissions due to the inability to anticipate future changes in road conditions.

• The technology will initially be applied to specialized uses in local package delivery, long-distance trucking on motorways, urban transit services on fixed routes and more confined spaces for urban and suburban automated passenger rides.

• Even when autopilot driving system are able to operate vehicles without a human driver onboard as backup, they will still require remote support from skilled driver humans to manage "corner case" situations, which will need to be handled by automation.


Frequently Asked question (FAQ)

1. Are Self Driving Cars Safe?

Some reports and experts suggest that autopilot vehicles are already safer than human-powered vehicles when it comes to performing certain driving tasks. Self driving cars do not suffer from sleep deprivation, and they cannot drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They also have wider fields of vision and are designed to obey traffic laws, while human drivers sometimes disobey the laws or fail to obey them due to distractions.

2. What are the shortcomings of Autopilot or Self Driving Cars?

One of the biggest concerns is that people will be encouraged to drive longer distances if there is no policy in place to limit vehicle miles traveled. This could have the adverse effect of expanding cities beyond existing boundaries – a new wave of urban sprawl, taking over open spaces and moving people away from city areas.

3. Have self-driving cars changed the way cities are planned and built?

Very few cities or government agencies are thinking of autonomous vehicles right now. My research colleagues and I are trying to ignite a sense of urgency in cities. They have to start planning the cities they want to see in 50 years. This is one of the ideas behind this convention.

Cities need to start thinking about how they will recover money from lost parking. Transportation engineers should reconsider the allocation of roads to vehicles, as autonomous vehicles will use lanes more efficiently and require less road space.

4. Will people accept self driving cars?

There are some perception issues for self-driving cars to overcome. The 2019 installment of AAA's annual autonomous-vehicle survey found that 71% of those surveyed would be afraid to ride in fully autonomous vehicles—slightly down from 73% of respondents in 2018 and well above the 63% of respondents who didn't. Said they would be afraid to be a passenger in a driverless vehicle in 2017. Just 19% of respondents in the 2019 survey said they would be comfortable putting their children and other family members in autonomous vehicles.