Self-driven cars more and more often appear in the news, but just a few people know what is really happening in this sphere. How do they work, what are their advantages and disadvantages, why are they still not presented on our streets?

Autonomous car is equipped with an automatic control system. This means that it must know the route, navigate, and evaluate the surrounding territory. And most importantly, it should  comply with the rules of safety and traffic, and not create a threat to other drivers and passengers.

For convenience, the international organization SAE has determinated six levels for the classification of autonomous cars.

  • Zero level: that is a normal car in which all the actions and movements are controlled by the driver.
  •  The first level: those are modern cruise control models that can accelerate or brake on their own if necessary.
  • The second level: the car itself controls speed, braking and other processes, but requires constant supervision of the driver. In such a car, the pilot must be ready to take control at any time. For example, this is a Tesla car.
  • The third level: the machine controls the traffic on its own, but if the software is unable to resolve the situation, it sends a signal to the driver. And then the pilot takes control of the car.
  • The fourth level: differs from the third one in the way that the software copes with the assessment of more difficult road situations. If there are any arguable moments, the car parks itself and signals to the driver.
  • The fifth level: it is the complete automation when there is not only required the pilot but also the steering wheel in the car.

Equipment for Self-Driven Cars

In order for the car to cope on the road without human involvement, it needs specialized equipment and software:

  • Artificial intelligence processes all data from cameras and sensors, makes decisions that is based on the situation and controls the vehicle.
  • Cameras are required to recognize all kinds of road objects: other cars, road signs, markings.
  • Radar detects obstacles, their location and distance to them.
  • Lidar is a modern radar modification that provides a full 360-degree view to detect all objects around the car. In essence, it is a laser unit that constantly signals and measures distances to points.

Main Issues of Self-Driven Cars 

The two major obstacles are on the way to success for the car developers. They are the complexity and the high cost of technology. For instance, the lidar is an irreplaceable equipment for such cars and it is rather difficult to make and requires plenty of money.

The artificial intelligence of autonomous cars must be really powerful and have a huge array of information. It is required not just to notice obstacles, but also to predict the behavior of surrounding objects: other cars, pedestrians, animals.

We should not forget about the weather: heavy rainfall or reduced visibility. All this also affects the capabilities of the car. At the same time, you need special mapping, because the ordinary GPS is not enough for such cars. Every centimeter matters in such vehicles.

However, despite the obstacles, many key players of the car industry are constantly working on “driverless” vehicles: General Motors, Tesla, Waymo, Uber, Lyft, Baidu.

The company “Ukr-Prokat” does not promise self-driven cars in the near future. But if you just need to rent a car in Kyiv for a trip or a journey- contact us! In our fleet you may be sure to find a model for your needs!

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