An autonomous vehicle is a car that is equipped with sensors to sense its environment and be able to operate without human interaction. In such vehicles, humans are not necessarily needed to drive and control the car. These pieces of machineries could go anywhere a conventional car can go and do everything that human drivers do.
However, there are some that prefer using the word “automated” on these cars rather than autonomous. One reason is, the latter creates implications that are beyond electromechanical. Fully autonomous vehicle is something that is self-aware and can make its own decisions. The phrase “self-driving car” is interchangeably used with autonomous. On the other hand, it is a different story.
This is due to the reason that self-driving car is capable of driving itself in all or some situations but a human passenger needs to be present and be ready to take over at moment’s notice. Self-driving cars can either fall in Level 3 or Level 4 or Conditional Driving Automation or High Driving Automation accordingly. They’re subject as well to geofencing in which the technology is far from what a level 5 autonomous car has or the ability to go anywhere.
How an Autonomous Car Work?
Autonomous vehicles are depending heavily on actuators, sensors, machine learning systems, complex algorithms as well as powerful processors to be able to execute software.
But in a perfect world, an autonomous car is able to create and keep a map of its surroundings as per the sensors installed in different parts of the car. Radar sensors are monitoring the position of cars nearby, video cameras are detecting road signs, traffic lights, tracking other cars and watch out for pedestrians, lidar or light detection and ranging sensors are bouncing light pulses off the surrounding of the vehicle in order to measure distance, identify lane markings and detect road edges. Ultrasonic sensors in wheels are also used in detecting curbs and several other cars when it is parking.
Are there any Benefits to it?
The situation for quality of life and convenience are unlimited; physically disabled and elders would need independence, if your kids were out and about and has forgotten to bring their toiletries, you can command the car to bring it to them. Basically, there are many applications of an autonomous vehicle that one can imagine. It’s all time and technology can tell when one will become available. After all, it is not hard to keep track of its progress as many companies that are in this field buy Instagram likes to widen their reach.