Los Angeles Auto Show: Blow cold on the autonomous car

2014-Los-Angeles-Auto-ShowIf the autonomous functions such as the automatic Adaptive cruise control, car parking and braking systems will be increasingly frequent on the 2014/2015 models, all the elements are not yet in place for the launch of truly autonomous vehicles.
If Google believes that its Google autonomous Car may leave the experimental stage before the end of this decade, automakers are much more cautious.

Planned launch: 2017 or 2025?

This is one of the findings of the Los Angeles show; The prospect of commercialization of autonomous cars seems to move away. The automakers and their suppliers are not in agreement with predictions from Google that hope to see autonomous cars marketed by the end of the Decade they speak rather of a launch between 2020 and 2025. According to them, far too many conditions are not yet filled to launch autonomous cars on a large scale.

One of the 200 cars of mapping service Nokia HERE.

One of the 200 cars of mapping service Nokia HERE.

Research seems to make rapid progress in the embedded computing and the vehicle sensors. On the other hand, the infrastructure are not to go and are not yet ready to accommodate these cars without driver. An article in Wired points out that autonomous cars will need smart cards indicating what lanes follow, maps high-definition 3D. Nokia, via its service HERE is scan the roads in 3D with 200 cars equipped with LIDAR. Currently, the Finn has digitized 2 million kilometres in 30 countries, but much remains to be done.

Better networks for autonomous cars

Autonomous cars will require a high-precision GPS.

Autonomous cars will require a high-precision GPS.

Another problem to be solved, the precision of the GPS signal. Theoretically, the GPS accuracy is of the order of 100 metres, accuracy it is possible to 1 to 5 meters per error correction, the best-performing GPS receivers can achieve a precision of 30 cm. It is better, but not enough if we want to avoid that autonomous cars do ride on the sidewalks from time to time. Article of SAE International stresses that achieving the ascent of Pike’s Peak with his A7 autonomous Audi had placed equipment to achieve an accuracy of 2 cm only.
Another pitfall to avoid, connectivity. To move independently, robotic cars will have strongly seek mobile networks to access Cloud services. At the Los Angeles show, Continental North America unveiled a new case of communication designed with Cisco. For maximum connectivity, it aggregates capacity 3G or 4G of the vehicle with the smartphones of the occupants of the vehicle. GM-2007-DARPA-Urban-ChallengeHousing will cumulate all communication equipment flow present at edge, 3G, 4G, WiFi and DSRC (dedicated short range communications), standard of communication short range that will be exploited in the communications between vehicles or vehicles and road infrastructure.
Many obstacles must be overcome until the first autonomous cars are finally found in concessions. Google, accustomed to short development cycles of Silicon Valley, is perhaps a bit optimistic in its forecasts, at least whether carmakers who jostled by the pace of the development of digital, are a bit too conservative in their forecasts.

Translation : Bing Translator
Sources :

“No simple roadmap to autonomous cars”, SAE International, December 16, 2014

“Autonomous Cars Will Require a Totally New Kind of Map”, Wired, December 15, 2014


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