You must have heard of tesla self-driving cars even if you haven’t seen one. Do you remember the film Total Recall? The days of science fiction is now reality with an increase in the level of technology. With the increase in the number of autonomous/driverless cars in the world means soon people will have to spend less time behind the wheels controlling the movement of a car. If you have driven a self-driving car before, please share your experience here.
The goal of self-driving cars companies like Tesla, Google’s Waymo, Benz and Nissan is to produce cars that do not require the control of humans to safely operate itself. This is isn’t fully licensed yet, but it is already being used by people and the driver needs to stay behind the steering.
What Makes Self-driving Cars Drive Themselves.
The science behind self-driving car is simply Artificial Intelligence (AI) but this cannot work alone, other things are put in place to enable a self-driving car understand its environment as well as drive safe when about to encounter an obstacle or maintain a lane.
This might not be new as a lot of conventional cars have this in the rear as well as front to help drivers see their surroundings when taking a reverse or driving forward. Unlike the conventional cameras, the camera for self-driving cars is to enable the AI machine to create a better of the road and its surroundings. The camera helps the AI to identify things like traffic light, lane lines, high ways, other cars, road signs (which are in most cases accessible in the car internal map), as well as humans and animals around.
This is often found at the top of most self-driving cars. Unlike the camera which helps with vision, the lidar is used to detect light rays and ranging. This technology is used to create a 3D map for in the self-driving cars by firing out millions laser beams every second and measuring how long it takes for the beam to bounce back, this data is used to build a 3D map better than a radar.
Before a self-driving car goes into the street, there should be a proper layout how the street looks and with the help of a lidar and a camera, a map is made in the car which is interpreted by the machine. Lidar helps the car to verify its sensor readings which was made with the help of a radar.
This is not relatively new as cars have been using it since the late 1990’s to bounce back radio waves so as to help them identify things in their environment mostly metallic things and with that other cars can be identified.
In other to synchronize these things together and enable the self-driving car to move without the help of a driver, a computer is trained using machine languages to identify things related to driving such as identifying lanes, humans, signs, cyclist, mountains, animal obstructions and other things. Also, since all cars do not experience the same scenario of things the Artificial intelligence must be able to learn things based on experience as well as figure out how to navigate through it by itself.
Considering the fact that self-driving cars can have a lot of impact in the life of humans which includes safety, equity for disable people who can’t drive, as well as reduction in the use of gasoline (self-driving cars use electricity). It will be of great importance if self- driving cars become the car for every family.