Autonomous Cars – The Nextgen Auto Engineering
Autonomous Car: Engineering sensation always fascinates. If you are an avid technology follower of Google, you might aware about their self-directed cars project. Yes. As we all know, The search engine giant has multiple technical faces, other than search engine business and their passion towards Autonomous Car Auto engineering is quite interesting!
At worldwide, There are many other auto makers, like Volvo, Volkswagen and General Motors are very keen on Autonomous car research and also sharing their interest towards this engineering occurrence! On Google side, the self-directed Car project is led by research engineer Sebastian Thrun. Sebastian who is a director of Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and also a co-inventor of Google street view, a Google Map tool. Sebastian and a team of other research scientist from Google, has developed a system and created an Autonomous car named – Stanley.
At past decade, Google is very much focused on this project and Stanley had also won first prize on 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, a contest for Autonomous Cars. Google has been awarded by United States Department of Defense, for their technical excellence in this self-directed car project.
Google Technology: On technical side, Google follows the technique called- LIDAR! (Light Detection And Ranging). Basically, This is an optical remote sensing technology which has widely used at many applications for remote object sensing, like used at engineering, Defense, Aerospace and agriculture. Google’s Self-directed test cars have been installed with this Lidar equipment for object detection and also for enhanced drive navigation. The research is still on and test drives are in progress.
Where Volvo Stands? The famous truck and car maker is very incisive on this project and one of the key player on SARTRE project from the beginning. Basically, SARTRE is an European project which executes the transportation research in the name of Road train for public roads. Other way it has called as platooning.
Road Train Technology: The Road Train concept is based on wireless communication between group of vehicles which will form a combined system, Like a group of cars and trucks will led by one heavy vehicle where other vehicles will follow the lead vehicle with less drive effort on highway or on public roads.
The idea behind platooning is about increased road safety, less fuel consumption and better drive comfort!. Volvo’s technical implementations has called Car-2-Car and Car-2-Object communication systems and they have installed the system on their test cars, and demonstrated the test drive on recent SARTRE project. Per Volvo, The test drive went very much successfully and absolutely an new mile stone on Autonomous Car project execution so far.
So What’s next? When consider transportation, Most developed and developing countries major concern is, reduced fuel consumption, secure transportation and how to increase road safety for public. So Car makers, Engineers and avid auto scientists are much interested to furnish new age vehicle models and also focusing more at increased comfort, greater safety and efficient transportation vehicles.
Indeed, At every year, The number of road accidents, traffic related Injuries and deaths has been considerably increased from all over the world, and it clearly sounds the need and importance of these kind of research to facilitate our transportation system. From Motor vehicle law side, At US, California, Nevada and Florida states have already approved to allow autonomous vehicles on public roads and certainly adding more fuel on self-directed car research!.
The significant technical improvements like, Drive-by-wire, Lane Assist Systems, Electronic Stability Control and adaptive cruise control kind of techniques has perfectly changed our driving experience from the past. The Auto industry future is very much promising!.
I believe the future cars for common public would be completely autonomous, and might like a new generation gaming consoles where you simply control the vehicle just by joy sticks, voice commands and by WiFi enabled sensing devices for enhanced safety driving and with less drive effort. A worry free dynamic vehicle management system will be in place for all high end vehicles and eventually would transform to all segments as well. Just set your destination on GPS and have fun with family till you reach your destination!.
It’s your turn now! So, what do you think about Autonomous Cars project and future of Auto Engineering? Just share our views.
Image Courtesy: Google