DATE: February 02, 2010
TO: The Engineering Community
FROM: University of Washington Engineering Student
SUBJECT: Driverless car: future engineering challenges.
A Self-driven car is a vehicle with an autopilot system fitted to allow it move from one point to another without human operator. This car is automatically driven by computers using a distincttechnology designed for driverless cars. The technology is however different from those used in vehicles with remote operators like the Bombardier Advanced Rapid Transit Systems (Kingsley, 2009). The big questions are; how does car works? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the car? And how will this invention affect the future technology? This paper highlights some of these issues and triesto give answer to these questions (Thrun, 2010). The paper is divided into three distinct parts with the first part focusing on the description on what this a self-driven car and how the car works, the second part highlights the advantages and disadvantages while the last part discusses its effects on the future technology.
WHAT ARE THE SELF-DRIVEN CARS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
Self-driven carsare cars under a Google project to develop a technology for driverless cars. The project is under taken by a team of 15 engineers from Google. The team is currently headed by Dr. Sebastian Thrum, the director of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (Fredric, 2010).
The system uses information collected for Google Street View combining it with inputs from video cameras inside the cars,radar sensors in front of the car, lidar sensor on top of the car and a sensor on one of the wheels to help locate the position of the map (Kingsley, 2009). This sensor technology uses the artificial intelligence software and employees varied approaches of both the minimalist ARGO projects with monochrome stereoscopy to that of Mobil eye’s inter-modal approach. Mobil eye technology focuses on thevision-based Advanced Driver Assistance Systems which provide warnings to prevent collusions while the minimalist approach focuses on initiating human situations while seeking to obtain much information as it’s possible in the current technology.
By the end of 2010, Google had tested several cars fitted with the system. Some of these vehicles managed to drive 1000 miles without the invention ofhuman being. There were also those that drove 140,000 miles with limited human intervention (Thrun, 2010). Only one accident occurred when one of the cars was rear-headed while being stop at the red light. Another test fleet of eight vehicles has been equipped. These include seven Toyota Priuses and one Audi TT. Each vehicle under test will be accompanied by one driver to keep driving records andone Google engineer. The system will drive at a limited speed according to what the map has stored. It also maintains its distances from the other by using its system of sensors.
According to a top Google official who is part of the team undertaking the project, the accuracy of the system will reduce the accidents making travelling safer. This is because the system will have no error sinceeverything is controlled by machines (Thrun, 2010). Those supporting the invention envision a world with computer-driven vehicles that will revolutionize the highways by allowing cars to drive closer to each other without the risk of accidents occurring.
1. Economical. There are various economic advantages that emerge with the new Google software of driverless cars. In the United Statesthere have been several positive economic changes as a result of the new technology of self-driver cars (Kingsley, 2009). The government of the United States is currently employing fewer drivers for public vehicles. The reduced costs of drivers and instead the funds are being allocated advance the new technology. Moreover, the robotic and self-driver cars reduces insurances cost from the...