The Science Behind Autonomous Vehicles

Posted by Steve on Apr 5, 2017 9:08:38 AM


Industry experts are defining what it will take to make autonomous vehicles a practical and safety reality.

Most agree on three areas of technology: 

Technical Data

Technical data is all the data that is collected from several sensors on the vehicle that interpret the difference between a child or an animal, or a fallen branch and a traffic cone, and directs the outward decisions and movements of the car. The amount of data is staggering and the speed at which the data must be analyzed by the vehicle's computer in order to make a split-second maneuvering decision is even more difficult to grasp. CPU processing manufacturers, like Intel, are racing to design hardware components to meet the demand. Artificial intelligence applications will help the vehicle learn from previous encounters and apply an immediate learned maneuver response, easing the data interpretation efforts of the vehicles computer. 

Societal and Crowd Sourced Data

This includes information that is a compilation of data collected from the world around the vehicle on a continuous basis.  For example, your daily commute would be a pre-programmed route which would require minimal CPU calculation, freeing up that computing power for the unanticipated traffic condition allowing for a much quicker maneuver response from the vehicle. Basically, the societal and crowd sourced data can be utilized in the artificial intelligence portion of the system to help the vehicle learn from previous trips. 

Personal Data

The last component is personal data. This includes everything from seat positioning to cabin temperature preferences, to music choices for individual passengers. Sensors inside the car can monitor behavior, emotional, and biometric status of passengers to increase safety and security. They may be ultimately able to detect slight physiological issues as back pain or mood issues and activate lumbar massaging through the seat functionality or mood enhancing music.  With every article on this and other technology based topics I'm more enamored by the possibilities that lie ahead.  I certainly enjoy writing them.  I hope our readers find the information informative and entertaining. 

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