The Road to Autonomous Driving

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The Road to Autonomous Driving

Autonomous vehicles are on their way to becoming the next leap in technological advancement. Sensor technology, computing capacity, and artificial intelligence are some of the main technologies that need major development to make autonomous vehicles feasible to adopt on a large scale.

Key findings

"Self-driving cars continually – and without being distracted – “sense” their surroundings. They thereby collect a great deal of data that also depicts the wider environment, such as buildings, green spaces, and people. Among the basic kit items in such a “seeing” car are cameras. They detect signs, traffic lights, and other items involved in the road conditions. Ultrasound sensors measure the distance from the car to other objects, while radar sensors also detect the speed of those objects. Laser scanners create a 3D image of the environment."

"To enable self-driving cars to cope safely with any road situation, millions of test miles are needed, along with millions of pieces of information. It should be remembered, however, that a high number of test miles doesn't necessarily equate to better driving. With test driving as in many other fields, quality is more important than quantity, as anybody can drive in absolutely perfect conditions. One of the major challenges involved in developing autonomous driving technology is the need for calculations to take account of extreme situations such as evening light, heavy rain or snowfall, and the unpredictable behavior of other road users."

"Because test vehicles can’t gather all of the data needed on the actual road, in general almost 95% of all test miles are driven on a virtual, simulated basis. To ensure that a particular feature will work reliably in all conditions, situations are identified and modified on the basis of real-life data."

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