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The future promises to be so exciting. Imaginations of time past are becoming realities faster than we can say “No way, that’s not possible!” One of such surprises of the future is the revolution of the transport sector by Artificial Intelligence. Autonomous vehicles will take over the highways and push future world citizens to rethink their desires for personal vehicles.
SAE International has divided autonomous vehicles into five based on their ability to work without a human assistant. The first level vehicles are controlled by the self-driving feature but the driver controls the steering wheel. Level two autonomous vehicles have the accelerator, brake, and steering controlled by the vehicle while the driver monitors. For level three automation, the system takes full control of the vehicle while the driver can do other things, however, the driver is responsible for special operations as determined by the car manufacturer. Level four need little supervision but can only operate in areas that have been geofenced (areas that are mapped out by RFID and GPS technology). Level five vehicles require no driver assistance or human intervention and can navigate the road on their own.

One powerful breakthrough with autonomous technology is the ability to interact with its surroundings. This is known as V2 technology. It has been classified into three namely: V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle), V2I (Vehicle to Infrastructure) and V2P (Vehicle to Pedestrian) interactions. Most of the autonomous vehicle firms leverage on Light Detection and Ranging technology (acronym LiDAR). LiDAR uses laser lighting to measure the distance to a target by illuminating a barrier while using sensors to measure the reflected pulses. The system, therefore, creates a 3D mapping of the surroundings classifying members of an environment based on mobility.
The other omnidirectional components of autonomous vehicles include the vision system, radar, audio detection system, machine learning-based self-driving software, and GPS.
Google’s autonomous vehicle effort Waymo is proud of a self-driving software that has covered five billion miles in simulation and five million miles in actual on-road experience powered by machine learning algorithms, EmerJ found out.
Another industry player in the space is Tesla with its AutoPilot feature. However, the AutoPilot is level 2 and has myriads of instructions for its users.
Autonomous vehicles from different brands still need to cross the barrier of a unified hackerproof V2 system. This and many other policies and ethical barriers must also be crossed for AI to take over our highways.

Research Credit: EmerJ, Google.


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