Driverless cars are closer to reality than you think

Autonomous driver testing is pictured on German roads by Mercedes Benz Engineers in 2018 (Photo: Handout from Daimler)

As of late, the car industry has seemed more akin to the technology industry, specifically when it comes to developing smarter and smarter cars that are capable of amazing things that will soon become the norm, such as communicating with other cars, reading traffic lights, and making updates automatically via the Internet.اضافة اعلان

To reach this new digital reality, there has been clear cooperation between car companies and tech giants to develop the future nature of cars and the way they are driven. In short, an “online” car capable of communication, recognizing its surroundings, and driving itself.

The goal is to reduce the number of accidents to zero, this is the goal that many car manufacturers have announced, as the car will become smart and able to process the images sent by its cameras to its “brains” in real time. Of course, Apple is developing its smart car with self-driving technology, as are Google and other tech giants.

 One of the facts that senior officials from major auto companies such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW have talked about is that the transportation of the future represents a growing market for software developers to demonstrate how transportation can work in the future.

One such idea is that software can send route reports to other cars, which would require enough computing power to process large amounts of data, some of which might reach 100 megabytes.

The trend now is towards eliminating gasoline vehicles, and many governments are planning to ban the sale of all cars and trucks that run on gasoline, diesel, and various other fuels by 2040, based on mounting concerns that rising levels of carbon monoxide and air pollutants will pose a growing public health risk and further contribute to climate change.

The French government has officially announced its intention to end the sale of diesel and gasoline by 2040 as part of the ambitious goals it set at the Paris Climate Conference. The Swedish car company "Volvo" also announced its intention to focus on manufacturing electric cars during the current decade 2020–2030. The Netherlands decided to ban fuel and diesel starting from 2025, while some federal states in Germany are seeking to phase them out starting in 2030. All of this gives us an indication for the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engines dominance after more than a century of production.

There are many systems inside smart cars to make them capable of self-driving without a driver, most notably the American EV company Tesla’s Auto Pilot system, as it has remote sensors that can draw a three-dimensional map to allow the car to see potential dangers.

This is done by a laser that’s emitted from the car to determine accurate distances, identify the features of objects and people, and monitor nearby parking lots. However, while the sensors can make maps, they are not able to accurately determine the speed of surrounding cars in real time. So, the radar's role is to send a signal to the processor to apply the brakes, or get off the road when needed to avoid accidents.

Cameras in self-driving cars provide overlapping images of a car's surroundings, not unlike the work of the human eye, which produces overlapping images before determining the surrounding depth of field, spurious motions, and object dimensions. Each camera provides a 50° viewing angle, with an accuracy of about 30 meters, while ultrasonic sensors located in the car's wheels enable it to detect other vehicles in the parking lot, and a central computer analyzes all the available data from the sensors to control the vehicle, including acceleration, stopping, and other operations.

Faced with competition and the development and transition to the era of electric and self-driving cars, Daimler (Mercedes Benz) and BMW have strengthened their alliance to share the cost of developing technology for automated driving.

However, each company is making an independent effort to develop fully autonomous cars. The high cost of designing and manufacturing computer-powered vehicles has prompted BMW and Daimler to develop a model that covers a number of automation stages, including technology that enables automated driving on highways.

The focus will initially be on developing next-generation driver assistance and automated driving technologies.

The Japanese giant — Toyota, in turn has managed to acquire a famous robotics expert from Google to enhance its artificial intelligence unit, and Toyota says that another type of machine may solve an Auto shop issue.

“Robots in homes may eventually become much more personal in the future than cars were in the past,” Pratt says. Toyota has confirmed that it wants to take advantage of its acquired skills in order to build driverless cars to keep pace with the development of home robots, which are likely to herald a major transformation in its work.

A smart car that is able to drive itself without driver intervention is closer to reality than we think.

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