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The Google Self-Driving Car, commonly abbreviated as SDC, is a project undertaken by GOOGLE X that involves developing technology for autonomus cars. The software powering Google’s cars is called Google Chauffeur. The project is presently being led by Google engineer. It all initiated with 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, where a team from Stanford University led by Dr. Thrun came up with a robotic vehicle, Stanley, and bagged the first position winning $2 million as prize from the US Department of Defense. Dr. Thrun run the Google team which consists of 15 engineers who work on this dream project.
Self driving car assimilates Google Maps with artificial intelligence software and various hardware sensors including LIDAR, Video Camera, Position Estimator and Distance Sensors. The driver’s seat is engaged by drivers having excellent track records and the co-driver seat is occupied by Google engineer. Google plans to make these cars accessible to the public in 2020. DefinitionA driverless is a robotic vehicle that is designed to travel between destinations without a human operator. To qualify as wholly autonomous, a vehicle must be able to navigate without human intervention to a predetermined destination over roads that have not been adapted for its use.
Lidar (also written LIDAR, LiDAR) is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light. Although supposed by some to be an acronym of Light Detection And Ranging, the term lidar was actually created as a portmanteau of “light” and “radar”. This is like to the Radar technology that uses radio waves and the distance to a target is obtained by calculating the time delay that occur during the pulse transmission and the detection of reflected signal. For imaging of stuffs, LiDAR uses UV, near-infrared or visible light.
The components that type up a LiDAR include laser, scanner and optics, photo-detector & receiver electronics and position & navigation systems.
It is a global steering satellite system that provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. The GPS offers critical positioning capabilities to military, civil, and commercial users around the world. In Google Driverless Cars, Google Maps interrelates with GPS and provides accurate location as well as it acts as the database. The speed bounds are integrated with the maps which control the car to the restricted speeds depending on the nature of the roads and terrains.
It also provide material to the car about the upcoming intersections and nearby collisions, if any. Traffic report accessibility will help the car to control its speed, which is also available with the Maps. In overall, Maps will offer the directions for the car to move around without any human interventions.
Environment is so lively that real time updates has to be given to the Self Driving Car to achieve maximum efficiency. This is realized with the help of hardware sensors build around the car. Sensors equipped with the car attempts in creating a fully observable environment and track the car through all hurdles. The key sensors used are LIDAR, Video Camera, Position Estimator, RADAR and Distance Sensor.
Video Camera: Electronic motion pictures are acquired using video camera. Here, in nature driving car, video camera is used to capture traffic light. The evidence about traffic light is used to control the car on the roads especially its behavior in a traffic island. It also keeps out an eye on the pedestrians, other motorists, cyclists and other obstacles. Video cameras rummage- sale here offers 45 and 90 degree field of view.
Distance Sensor: A aloofness sensor is used in Google Driverless Car to detect the presence of nearby cars or obstacles and inform about the same to the required software so as to control the car accordingly. The sensor emits electromagnetic waves and checks the changes in the return signal. The kind of sensors used change with the type of targets. These forms of sensors have long functional life and are highly reliable due to lack of physical contact between the target and the sensor and also due to the absence of mechanical parts. Short and long choice radars are used here to cover a maximum range of 150 yards. There are four automotive distance sensors that are used in these cars.
Position Estimator: The place estimator in self driving car is meant for determining the vehicle’s location and also tracks down its movements. Here, last wheel has an ultrasonic sensor mounted on it to monitor the movements of the car and this information is automatically updated so as to update the position of the vehicle on the map.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a generous of intelligence showed by custom-build software or machines. Google Maps and the hardware sensors refer the data acquired with the help of various devices to the AI. The AI is the key constituent of Google driverless car that determines how fast the car should accelerate, determines the moment to slow down/ stop and determines when to take over the steering control of the wheel. The final goal of AI is to take the car to the destined location safely and legally. Processor employed in this car cross-checks all the information obtained from different sensors to make diverse objects, obstacles differentiated accurately and make driving through them an easy task. The software established for this is the sole proprietary product of Google.
Google Driverless Car, a scheme led by Google’s 15 member engineer team along with excellent drivers and a fleet of cars is on the way to bring into reality a technology that was just in the dreams of any tech wizard. With the assistance of Google Maps, Hardware Sensors and Artificial Intelligence, this driverless car will definitely hit the roads and change the whole travelling concepts. Let us optimism Self Driving Car will change a mere science fiction to a science fact.
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