An autonomous vehicles are the driverless vehicles. They are capable of operating without human involvement by sensing its environment or surrounding. Thus automatic vehicle has the ability to operate itself and perform necessary functions which are necessary while driving a vehicle. Autonomous vehicles can offer certain benefits compare to human driven vehicles. They provide more safety and security on the road than traditional vehicles. Human driver presence is not at all necessary to take control and operate an automatic vehicle at any time.
Autonomous vehicles depends on machine learning systems, complex algorithms, actuators, sensor, and various powerful processors for executing the software for control panel of the vehicle. Autonomous vehicles maintain a map of their surrounding atmosphere and the interventions on the basis of different sensors situated in various parts of the vehicle.
Key Physical Components of Autonomous Vehicles
• Cameras – Provide real-time obstacle detection to facilitate lane departure and track roadway information. Video cameras detect road signs, traffic lights. It also tracks other vehicles running on the road and look for pedestrians.
• Radar – Radio waves detect short & long-range depth. And sensors presents in Radar monitor the position of nearby vehicles.
• LIDAR (light detection and ranging) – Measures distance, identify lane marking and detects road edges by illuminating target with pulses of laser light and measuring reflected pulses with sensors to create 3-D map of area.
• GPS – Triangulates position of car using satellites. Current GPS technology is limited to a certain distance. Advanced GPS is in development.
• Ultrasonic Sensors – Uses high-frequency sound waves and bounce-back to calculate distance. Best in close range.
• Central Computer – “Brain” of the vehicle. Receives information from various components and helps direct vehicle overall.
• DRSC - Based Receiver – Communications device permitting vehicle to communicate with other vehicles (V2V) using DSRC, a wireless communication standard that enables reliable data transmission in active safety applications. NHTSA has promoted the use of DSRC.
Legal Issues around Autonomous Vehicles
• Personal Injury
• Cybersecurity and data breaches
• Intellectual property ownership
Challenges with autonomous cars
Level 5 fully autonomous vehicles are under the testing process in several domains of the world but they are not yet available for the use to the general public. Therefore, there are some environmental, legislative, philosophical and technological challenges to the autonomous vehicles.
Advantages of Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous vehicles offers a scenario of convenience, safety, ethics, and quality of life improvement. Autonomous vehicles are likely to increase vehicle travel by non-drivers, such as people with disabilities and adolescents. Autonomous driving increases driver convenience and productivity, which can stimulate vehicle travel, for example, encouraging users to choose longer commute and errand trips, and more sprawled locations. But the major and real promise of autonomous vehicles is the ability and potential for intensely reducing the emission of CO2. Recently, experts identified some trends such as vehicle automation, vehicle electrification and ridesharing. These three trends have following benefits:
- Reduce traffic congestion
- Cut transportation costs by 40% (in terms of vehicles, fuel, and infrastructure)
- Improve walkability
- Free up parking lots for other uses (schools, parks, community centers)
- Reduce urban CO2 emissions by 80% worldwide