Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) or “self-driving cars” incorporate a lot of high tech and cutting edge technology in order to be able to drive down the road in a safe and predictable manner.
A recent artticle at “Tech Page One” (Link HERE) did a great job summarizing key safety features of AVs and included a wonderful “infographic” as well.
Here is a short list of several features:
- LIDAR, and acronym for Light Detection and Ranging, uses sensors to collect data about the position of the AV in relationship to other, nearby, objects. From the article; “A LIDAR device consists of a laser, a scanner and a specialized GPS receiver…Typically, airplanes and helicopters use this technology because it’s known for precision and accuracy in mapping nearby targets. In driverless cars, LIDAR automatically controls the steering, power delivery and braking…”
- Adaptive cruise control & brake assist are two functions that help AVs control their speed as they go up and down hills, around curves, enter into areas of congestion (stopped traffic) and such. Emergency brake assist is used when the AV is in danger of hitting a stopped object, or if it is overtaking another object too quickly.
- Specialized cameras help AVs to recognize pedestrians and cyclists in real time so that the computer can adjust speed or travel path as needed.
- Preloaded, detailed mapping helps the AV know where it is located in relationship to buildings, roads, and other fixed objects.