Why and how to joyfully move our butts around town, without mucking the place up.

Driving and road safety improvements from self driving cars (robocars)

; Date:

Tags: Autonomous Vehicles

The Robocar concept promises to make the roads much safer than they already are. There is an immense carnage on the highways largely because humans tend to be bad drivers. How could self driving cars (robocars) solve this problem and reduce this form of pain and suffering in the world? It's because the right kind of computer can be programmed to be a better driver than any human, and not only that but that overall the roads could be jammed with more cars than ever but not have any hint of gridlock.

This sounds like far out science fiction that could never be implemented, doesn't it? Consider that Google (and others) have already developed driverless car systems that safely operate in traffic.

The means? It's simply a combination of

  • Data about the surrounding traffic - received either through vehicle-vehicle communication, or from sensors scanning the traffic
  • GPS and other global information about the road system
  • On-board computers that digest this information, watch the changing traffic, and maintain safe distance margins while taking nearly instantaneous action based on behavior of the surrounding traffic
  • News

'Virtual bumpers' can help avoid crashes September 19, 2012 (phys.org) http://phys.org/news/2012-09-virtual-bumpers.html#nwlt

Radars, vision, and ultrasonic sensors in Cadillac vehicles constantly analyze road data to determine if a crash may be imminent. In such cases the vehicle's automatic front and rear braking will engage. Credit: John F. Martin for Cadillac Three new Cadillac models, including the ATS sport sedan, have a new advanced safety system that can automatically stop the vehicle in low-speed conditions to help avoid crashes.

(disqus.com) comments powered by Disqus