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Google Driverless Car

By Author – Rashmita Soge

 

Introduction to Car:

The Google Driverless Car is like any car, but:

  • It can steer itself while looking out for obstacles.
  • It can accelerate itself to the correct speed limit.
  • It can stop and go itself based on any traffic condition.
  • It can take its passengers anywhere it wants to go safely, legally, and comfortably.

What is Google Driverless Car?

A driverless car (sometimes called a self-driving car, an automated car or an autonomous vehicle) is a robotic vehicle that is designed to travel between destinations without a human operator. To qualify as fully autonomous, a vehicle must be able to navigate without human intervention to a predetermined destination over roads that have not been adapted for its use.

Components

Integrates Google Maps with various hardware sensors and artificial intelligence software

Google Maps:-

  • Provides the car with road information

Hardware Sensors:-

  • Provides the car with real-time environment conditions

Artificial Intelligence:-

  • Provides the car with real-time decisions

Brief History of the car -?

The origins of automated cars go back to the 1920s. The technology significantly advanced in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s with the introduction of computers that truly autonomous vehicles began to become a possibility. Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Bosch, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, the University of Parma, Oxford University and Google have all developed prototype vehicles since then.

Google’s self-driving car project was formerly led by Sebastian Thrun, former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View. Thrun’s team at Stanford created the robotic vehicle Stanley which won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and its US$2 million prizes from the United States Department of Defense.The team developing the system consisted of 15 engineers working for Google, including Chris Urmson, Mike Montemerlo, and Anthony Levandowski who had worked on the DARPA Grand and Urban Challenges.

Heres how Googles cars work

  • The driver sets a destination. The cars software calculates a route and starts the car on its way.
  • A rotating, roof-mounted LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging – a technology similar to radar) sensor monitors a 60-meter range around the car and creates a dynamic 3-D map of the cars current environment.
  • A sensor on the left rear wheel monitors sideways movement to detect the cars position relative to the 3-D map.
  • Radar systems in the front and rear bumpers calculate distances to obstacles.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) software in the car is connected to all the sensors and has input from Google Street View and video cameras inside the car.
  • The AI simulates human perceptual and decision-making processes and controls actions in driver-control systems such as steering and brakes.
  • The cars software consults Google Maps for advance notice of things like landmarks and traffic signs and lights.
  • An override function is available to allow a human to take control of the vehicle.

Proponents of systems based on driverless cars say they would eliminate accidents caused by driver error, which is currently the cause of almost all traffic accidents. Furthermore, the greater precision of an automatic system could improve traffic flow, dramatically increase highway capacity and reduce or eliminate traffic jams. Finally, the systems would allow commuters to do other things while traveling, such as working, reading or sleeping.

Technology:

The Waymo project team has equipped a number of different types of cars with the self-driving equipment, including the Toyota Prius, Audi TT, Fiat Chrysler Pacifica and Lexus RX450h.Google has also developed their own custom vehicle, which is assembled by Roush Enterprises and uses equipment from Bosch, ZF Lenksysteme, LG, and Continental.

As of June 2014, the system works with a very high definition inch-precision map of the area the vehicle is expected to use, including how high the traffic lights are; in addition to onboard systems, some computation is performed on remote computer farms.

In May 2016, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced an order of 100 Pacifica hybrid minivans to test the technology on.

Google’s robotic cars have about $150,000 in equipment including a $70,000 LIDAR system.The rangefinder mounted on the top is a Velodyne 64-beam laser. This laser allows the vehicle to generate a detailed 3D map of its environment. The car then takes these generated maps and combines them with high-resolution maps of the world, producing different types of data models that allow it to drive itself.

In 2017, announced a partnership with Intel to develop autonomous driving technology together and develop better processing.

Advantages:

  • Without the need for a driver, cars could become mini-leisure rooms. There would be more space and no need for everyone to face forwards. Entertainment technology, such as video screens, could be used to lighten long journeys without the concern of distracting the driver.
  • Over 80% of car crashes in the USA are caused by driver error. There would be no bad drivers and fewer mistakes on the roads if all vehicles became driverless. Drunk and drugged drivers would also be a thing of the past.
  • Travelers would be able to journey overnight and sleep for the duration.
  • Traffic could be coordinated more easily in urban areas to prevent long tailbacks at busy times. Commute times could be reduced drastically.
  • Reduced or non-existent fatigue from driving, plus arguments over directions and navigation would be a thing of the past.
  • Sensory technology could potentially perceive the environment better than human senses, seeing farther ahead, better in poor visibility, detecting smaller and more subtle obstacles, more reasons for fewer traffic accidents.
  • Speed limits could be increased to reflect the safer driving, shortening journey times.
  • Parking the vehicle and difficult maneuvering would be less stressful and require no special skills. The car could even just drop you off and then go and park itself.
  • People who historically have difficulties with driving, such as disabled people and older citizens, as well as the very young, would be able to experience the freedom of car travel. There would be no need for drivers’ licenses or driving tests.
  • Autonomous vehicles could bring about a massive reduction in insurance premiums for car owners.
  • Efficient travel also means fuel savings, cutting costs.
  • Reduced need for safety gaps means that road capacities for vehicles would be significantly increased.
  • Passengers should experience a smoother riding experience.
  • Self-aware cars would lead to a reduction in car theft.

Future of Car:

  • No drivers’ licenses will be needed. Since people of all ages and abilities can use these vehicles, no specific driver certifications are needed. “People do not need a license to sit on a train or bus,” said Dr. Azim Eskandarian, director of the Center For Intelligent Systems Research. ” … So there will not be any special requirements for drivers or occupants to use the vehicle as a form of transportation.”
  • Car-sharing programs will become more mainstream. They will take you to your destination and then be ready for another occupant. “Since cars today are parked for more than 90 percent of their lifetime, shred car services will promote more continuous movement, garner more efficient operation and use less gas,” said Dr. Alberto Broggi, IEEE senior member.
  • Infrastructure won’t be prohibitive. Existing roads can already handle the advent of autonomous vehicles. No major overhaul is needed. Broggi directed a project in 2010 that led two driverless cars to complete an 8,000-mile trip between Italy and Shanghai.
  • Say farewell to red lights and stop signs. Once cars are driverless, intersections will be equipped with sensors, cameras, and radar that controls traffic flow. That will not only end collisions but promote a fuel-efficient flow of traffic.
  • High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes might be replaced by Driverless Car lanes, which would not only promote autonomous travel but help driverless cars travel both more safely and faster, reaching speeds of perhaps 100 mph by 2040.