Tag Archive: autonomous cars

  1. Experts Think That Self-Driving Vehicles are Years Away

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    Image from Pixabay

    While we’re constantly bombarded with news of self-driving vehicles every single day, we’re also no strangers to autonomous cars having accidents. It is an undeniable fact that this technology is the way to go forward, but it is also undeniable that it is still in its infancy. Experts on the subject share this opinion and give us the reasons why that’s the case.

    The first and most glaring disadvantage of current autonomous systems is performance under foul weather, such as snow, rain, and fog. The reason is quite simple here – these systems rely on cameras and radars to see the road ahead, and snow and rain limit their vision. While human beings are designed to see correctly in such weather thanks to years of evolution, autonomous systems are still very limited in this regard. According to Raj Rajkumar, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, “It’s like losing part of your vision.”

    On top of that, most places on Earth have different lines and curbs, and some locations don’t have them at all. Autonomous cars use road lines to navigate, and losing them means that the vehicle will lose the ability to follow the road ahead. When a fully self-driving vehicle launches on the market, it should work everywhere, not just in one area.

    Another limiting factor to autonomous technology is human drivers. Let’s face it – we’re pretty horrendous at driving. Most of the human drivers don’t drive by the rules, which is a complete opposite to autonomous systems which are designed to work only within selected parameters.

    As with most human drivers, though, autonomous systems have problems with left turns at intersections when there’s no green light. According to Waymo CEO John Krafcik, the same challenges that apply for human drivers also apply for self-driving technology continuing “So sometimes unprotected lefts are super challenging for a human, sometimes they’re super challenging for us.”

    In the end, experts think that the market is still not ready for a fully autonomous vehicle. Most consumers still don’t accept this technology and fatal crashes with self-driving cars, such as the one in Phoenix with an Uber vehicle, certainly don’t help in this regard. According to a study by AAA in March, 71% of the examined were afraid to be driven in autonomous vehicles.

  2. Ford To Begin On-Road Testing Its Autonomous Cars In Europe In 2017

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    Next year, Ford plans to begin on-road testing of the company’s self-driving vehicles in Europe as part of its initiative to have autonomous ride-sharing fleets ready by 2021.

    While the company is already testing its autonomous cars in numerous locations across the United States, 2017 will represent the first time Ford has expanded to Europe.

    “It is important that we extend our testing to Europe,” said Thomas Lukaszewicz, manager for Automated Driving for Ford of Europe. “Rules of the road vary from country to country here, traffic signs and road layouts are different, and drivers are likely to share congested roads with cyclists.”

    For the time being, Ford expects to test its vehicles at the company’s existing engineering centers located in Germany and the United Kingdom.

  3. Now Google’s Autonomous Cars Can Detect a Cyclist’s Hand Signals While Driving

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    Google’s autonomous cars are a lot like toddlers in the fact they are learning new stuff every day, from how to approach a four-way stop to when its appropriate to honk.

    However, unlike toddlers, autonomous cars have the potential to change the world in the matter of a few short years.

    Lately, Google’s autonomous cars have been learning how to deal with cyclists, and specifically how to detect cyclist’s hand signals.

    In order to do this, the vehicles utilize machine learning to memorize signals from previous rides, in addition to 360-degree sensors to detect the specific kind of bike and its rider or riders.

    Google says, “Our cars won’t squeeze by when cyclists take the center of the lane, even if there’s technically enough space.”