A Sneak Peek into the Technology that involves in Self Driven Cars

Source: Deep Learning on Medium

A Sneak Peek into the Technology that involves in Self Driven Cars


You must have heard about Driver-less cars or have seen such vehicles in Sci-Fi movies but now they are becoming a part of the real world. BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus are a few companies that are working on Autonomous Car technology whereas Google is also developing its Automated Car. Now you must be thinking what is the difference between Autonomous and Automated cars. Well, I will help you to understand the difference between the two but before jumping to the difference let’s start with the basic introduction to Autonomous Cars and how do they work.

Nevertheless, just like ordinary cars an autonomous car also runs on four wheels but it is not that ordinary. Such cars incorporate a special sensing system which senses the environment and operate the car without human involvement. Doesn’t matter if any human passenger is available in the car or not, it can go anywhere without requiring the human driver.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has defined 6 following driving automation levels from 0 to 5 which will help you to comprehend the difference easily:

· No Automation (Level 0): It is entirely manual system wherein human performs all the driving tasks from steering to braking.

· Driver Assistance (Level 1): Such cars include a single automated system to monitor the speed of the car through cruise control.

· Partial Automation (Level 2): The Partial Automation System empowers the vehicle to perform steering and acceleration tasks while the human driver monitors all these things and can take control anytime.

· Conditional Automation (Level 3): As mentioned earlier, the automated system provides environmental detection functionality to the vehicle so that it can sense the surroundings and perform most of the tasks. The conditional automation system is quite similar, however, human interference is still requisite here.

· High Automation (Level 4): The system makes the vehicle that potent to perform all the driving tasks but under defined circumstances. Drivers can override the car.

· Full Automation (Level 5): This is the most powerful system which enables the car to perform all the driving tasks without requiring human interaction.

Difference between the Autonomous and Automated Cars:

If we come to the difference between Autonomous and Automated cars then you could say that Autonomous Cars are level 5 cars which decide the direction on its own. On the other hand, fully Automated Cars need a human driver and follow the instructions provided to them.

Most of the people believe that autonomous cars and self-driving cars are the same, however, there is a small difference that worth noticing. Self-driving car is a level 3 or 4 car which can drive itself under geo-fencing conditions but still, the presence of human driver is necessary whereas fully autonomous car falls under level 5 which can go anywhere.

Work Mechanism of Autonomous Cars:

Autonomous cars equipped with actuators, sensors, machine learning systems, and processors to examine the surroundings and make a decision accordingly. With the help of Radar sensors and video cameras, the car tracks the position of other vehicles and detects the traffic light and road signs. Ultrasonic sensors are also installed in the wheels of autonomous cars to detect curbs and vehicles for safe parking. By collecting all the data, the software then creates a map of the surrounding and sends it to the actuator which is responsible for monitoring steering, acceleration, and braking.

Many believe that autonomous cars are only safe for testing purposes and operating under a controlled environment. It is necessary to improve our road infrastructure to make full use of the technology.