As more automakers test autonomous cars and prep for deployment on public roads, startups and engineers are working tirelessly to develop the technology that will power the vehicles.
Innovative advancements have accelerated with the participation of leading car manufacturers, including Ford, Tesla, BMW, and Audi, among others. But, while automakers have been testing self-driving cars for years, you may be surprised to know what technology researchers are still experimenting with.
Auto Finance News looked into four hot technologies that are key to the deployment of autonomous cars. Here are four integral technologies currently under development:
1. Artificial ‘Social’ Intelligence
Spatial AI is a Detroit-based company developing a “layer of social intelligence” for GPS maps that highlights areas that are good for specific activities, like nightlife and eating. While the technology sounds similar to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, the contemplated AI product will allow cars to talk to humans like a local or best friend.
Spatial is currently partnered with Ford Motor Co., but other partnerships could be on the horizon, said Lyden Foust, the startup’s chief executive. The technology is expected to be developed and available in vehicles before the end of 2019, he added.
2. Autonomous Drifting
Five engineers at The Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University are developing a system that utilizes complex maneuvers, such as drifting, to equip autonomous vehicles with technology to tackle emergency situations. The engineers, through their research project, look to achieve increased flexibility in evasive maneuvers by embracing drifting as a valid control method.
“We trying to see if we can use control algorithms to make autonomous vehicles perform maneuvers that a manually driven car cannot perform, such as power-gliding,” said Aum Jadhav, an engineer on the project and grad student at Carnegie.
The engineers project to have the system, dubbed the LOCO Car project, completed by May, but are not looking to commercialize it to automakers — yet, Jadhav said.
3. HD Live Mapping
Researchers at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering are developing technology to enable autonomous cars to navigate with centimeter precision using cloud-based service HERE’s high-definition live mapping. The technology will enable the cars to link to highly detailed maps that reflect every change in the status of lanes, hazards, obstacles, and speed limits in real time.
The project is expected to be completed within three years, said Edward K. Wong, an associate professor in the NYU Tandon Department of Computer Science and Engineering and one of the team members.
4. Advanced Driver Assist Systems
Mobileye is an Israeli technology company that develops vision-based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), providing warnings for collision prevention and mitigation. Mobileye uses a proprietary artificial vision sensor that views the road ahead and identifies vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists in the vehicle’s path.
In mid-February, Mobileye equipped 4,500 New York City-based rideshare vehicles, such as those available through apps like Uber and Lyft, with ADAS through a partnership with passenger transportation insurance company Atlas Financial Holdings Inc.