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Google's Driverless Car - The Self-Driving Car

Posted By: Poketors - 10:22 PM

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Google's driverless car also known as self-driving car which sense their surroundings with such techniques as radar, LIDAR, GPS, and computer vision. Google has equipped a test of at least ten vehicles, consisting of six Toyota Prius, an Audi TT, BMW and three Lexus RX450h each accompanied in the driver’s seat by one of a dozen drivers with unblemished driving records and in the passenger seat by one of Google’s engineers.

Behind The Concept Of This Car :

Sebastian Thrun, renowned Google engineer and the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View. Sebastian at the conference expressed about the concept after his friend was killed in the car accident and he wanted to invent a safe way to drive while on roads. He assured that the technology could really help to achieve some of the goals like reducing road accidents, congestion, and fuel consumption.


The key person Sebastian involved some of the very best engineers from the DARPA Challenges which is a series of autonomous vehicle races organized by the U.S. Government. Chris Urmson was the technical team leader of the CMU team that won the 2007 Urban Challenge. Mike Montemerlo was the software lead for the Stanford team that won the 2005 Grand Challenge. Anthony Levandowski  who built the world’s first autonomous motorcycle that participated in a DARPA Grand Challenge, and who also built a modified Prius that delivered pizza without a person inside. Without any doubt this is obviously would be the best team for inventing such car.

How Driverless Car Works ?

Here is a graphical presentation which will tell how the concept works in reality.


Here are the technical representations (how it works) :
  • The car equipped with a scanner on top of the car, which produces Velodyne 64 lasers to send out pulses of the light. 
  • It emits pulses and after hitting an object and they come back again and then it measure how far things are from the source i.e. the exact distance. 
  • The system in the car measure acceleration and rotation of the 3 axis of the car and combines this with GPS to estimates the position of the vehicles and all the information along with the data promboard camera’s is processed with tremendous speed by the software that way the system can make the decision very quickly and controls steering, acceleration and braking with incredible speed. 
The Engineer Duo, Thrun and Urmson explained how the car works and showed videos  (as given below) of the road tests. The explanation includes footage of what the on-board computer  displays (image as given below) and how it detects other vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic lights or obstacles.


Changes in law

Former legal director for Google,David Estrada says "Legally speaking, self-driving cars are probably legal everywhere already. What drove the legislation to specifically allow the cars on the road was Google. The tech giant wanted to make sure that before they pumped millions of dollars into driverless cars, the cars were explicitly legal and encouraged, not just probably legal and tolerated..'
 

Transformative change


The vehicles also offer potentially transformative societal benefits like reduced traffic fatalities and increased mobility and independence for people with disabilities.

On the road

Google is not the only company manufacturing autonomous driving technology. Bosch is working on a similar aftermarket system, and BMW, Volvo and GM are working on incorporating the technology into their fleets in coming years.

Lets see how the concept works and in real scenario how it manages traffic on road, avoiding accidents and eliminating human driver. What do you say?

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