The word “driverless” always seems to be associated with the concepts of “science fiction” and “high technology”, which seems far away from people’s life. But the fact is that driverless has already appeared around us.
In the US state of California, regulatory authorities have approved the issuance of automatic driving vehicle trial operation licences. Google’s parent company Alphabet’s automatic driving enterprise Waymo may deploy hundreds of driverless cars in the state to transport employees to and from work.
Driverless technology has been gradually applied in all aspects of life, many people are full of expectations, and some people doubt the maturity of technology. What principle does driverless use? Is it reliable? How far are we from the popularity of driverless?
1.What is driverless?
Driverless car, that is, self driving intelligent car, is actually an intelligent robot. High level automatic driving can drive normally on the road without human intervention or with little human intervention.
The key to unmanned driving lies in “eyes” and “brain”. The on-board sensor of driverless car is “eyes”, which can sense the surrounding environment and mainly obtain information such as road conditions, other vehicle positions and obstacles.
The intelligent decision-making system is the “brain”. The information obtained by the sensor is input into the intelligent decision-making system, make different decisions according to different information, and output the control results of the vehicle, that is, the vehicle speed, steering and other control signals, so as to ensure that the vehicle can drive safely and reliably on the road.
Driverless cars hand over the driver’s responsibility to the computer, which makes the judgment more rational in the process of road driving, and improves the safety and reliability of driving to a certain extent.
2.The bottleneck of unmanned driving
Absolute safety and reliability do not exist, but driving needs to be as safe as possible. Therefore, the bottleneck of unmanned driving comes from this.
The most critical part is perception and decision-making. How to perceive accurately and how to make the most safe and reliable decision according to the perceived results are the focus of various technologies at present. The technical limitations of the sensor determine that it can not perceive everything around. For example, common cameras image according to visible light, which will directly affect the imaging effect in poor weather conditions. Radar sensor perceives the target object through the time difference and phase difference between transmitted wave and reflected wave. Different types of radar have their own advantages and disadvantages in accuracy, stability, detection distance and cost. When perceiving complex environment, a single type of radar also has certain limitations.
Aware of the surrounding environment, how to make decisions according to the characteristics of the environment is the top priority. On board sensors need to identify the surrounding complex environment, including pedestrians, vehicles, road signs, etc. any detail can affect the decision-making results. How to make the most correct decision according to the perceived results in a complex environment has become the technical bottleneck restricting unmanned driving, and it is also the focus of future technology development.
2,Lack of social cognition
As a new technology and product, driverless vehicle is very important for the government, the market and consumers in the process of gradually forming a new market.
Consumers’ understanding and acceptance of driverless cars is an unavoidable problem. Because the automatic driving technology is not perfect enough, the unmanned vehicle has not been deployed and applied on a large scale. Most of them just stay in listening and speaking, and don’t know much about its details. For passengers, they may be more concerned about safety. Security cannot be satisfied, and any other experience is equal to zero.
For driverless, especially the lack of understanding of safety, people’s understanding of driverless stays at a low level. When driverless goes to the market, it is difficult to be accepted and trusted, and can not achieve better development.
With regard to unmanned driving, there are many ethical and legal dilemmas that have not been solved. When road accidents occur, should driverless cars give priority to protecting car owners or pedestrians? When driverless car accident occurs, is the owner responsible or the manufacturer responsible? Or the programmer?
Whether in ethics or law, there are still a lot of gaps in driverless, which needs to be improved in the system to promote driverless to become a more reasonable existence in the society.
3.Future development of unmanned driving
Although unmanned driving has many bottlenecks, as an intelligent technology, its intelligence and reliability bring epoch-making experience to mankind. It has a great impact on people’s future life and even the development of the whole world.
It is worth mentioning that the rapid development of unmanned driving has attracted more and more attention in scientific research, manufacturing, agriculture and other fields. At the same time, with the construction and application of 5g communication, Beidou satellite and other infrastructure, driverless vehicles can quickly obtain and transmit high-precision and low delay data. Accurate positioning and higher precision perception are bound to greatly promote the future development of driverless vehicles.
Driverless involves a huge industrial chain, and the efforts of all parties will inevitably greatly improve its accuracy, safety and reliability. With the development of road test, some cities have opened driverless test. In the near future, pilot assisted driving with the combination of man and vehicle will be put into use in some fields. It is also a transition to hand over the driving right to the driver at an appropriate time.
In the process of contact and use, people gradually become familiar with and believe in driverless technology, and will finally rest assured to use this technology. I believe that unmanned driving will have a bright future and will change human life.