A self-driving car is a car that doesn’t require the physical presence of any driver to drive it. It automatically takes the user to its destination safely and securely.
It follows all traffic rules and regulations. such vehicles lower down the chances of an accident.
Have you ever wondered that you will sit in a car that will automatically take me to your destination, that runs on its own and doesn’t require any driver to drive it.
It automatically turns on AC and maintain the temperature as you want. It automatically adjust your car seat according to your convenience.
So in this blog we will learn how artificial intelligence is the main pillar in for functioning of self-driving cars.
What’s in it for me?
- How AI will help in driving a self-driving car
- Classifications of self-driving cars
- Google Self-driving car project – WAYMO
- Tesla autopilot
- Future use of artificial intelligence in self-driving cars
- Limitations of self-driving car
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) about self-driving cars
How AI will help in driving self-driving car
With the help of algorithms we can teach ai to drive a car.
The Self-driving cars will gather information about the traffic on the road majorly from three sources Radar, lidars and 360° camera.
A 360° camera is placed on the top of a car, radar is placed on all the corners of the car and even on the top which report any moving object and distance between different objects on the road.
Then there are lidars which are placed on every portion of the car which measures the distance from various objects like trees, bushes, stones, different vehicles, poles, etc.
All these data are collected and processed by the computer placed inside the car. The efficiency and capability of this computer is better than humans to experience smooth driving.
Some basic functions of autonomous cars include automatic parking, danger signals, etc.
The major lacuna in this self-driving car project is that these cars cannot think in critical situations. These cars cannot make a decision either to perform one action or any other action.
Classifications of self-driving cars
In 2014 Based on Artificial Intelligence used in the car society of automatic engineers (SAE) stated 6 level of automation in the car from level 0 to level 5.
Level 0 (No Automation)
This type of car does not include any automatic functions. The driver has to perform all the things.
He has to keep a check and monitor everything present on the road whether it is any other car, human, trees, or anything else he has to follow all traffic rules on his own.
Level 1 (Driver Assistance)
This type of Self-driving cars include a very minimum level of automation.
It can do only one task at a time on their own like adaptive cruise mode ( the car can automatically maintain particular speed and distance from various cars on its own), simple Lane keeping and self-parking assistance.
But mostly you have to handle the steering. Generally cars include level 1 automation.
Level 2 (partial automation)
This is a step ahead than level 1. In this level, Self-driving cars can control accelerator and braking on its own.
Tesla autopilot works on this level. But here cars can drive on its own only in certain conditions like highways.
At this level driver is present in the car and takes control of the car at any moment. These types of cars only automate on highways and roads which have less traffic congestion.
Level 3 (conditional automation)
In this level, Self-driving cars are monitoring the traffic around it on its own but that too in specific conditions but humans need to take control of it whenever required.
Car will give an alert that the human need to take control after a specific time. Audi A8 works on this level but generally car manufacturers skip this level because of the similarity with level 2.
Level 4 (high automation)
In this level, Self-driving cars will monitor surroundings and drive on its own but this too is also restricted to certain areas.
Most of the car manufacturers are focusing on this level. Google Waymo works on this level
Level 5 (full automation)
At this level, Self-driving cars will work on its own it does not require the physical presence of the driver. Even the steering is optional in this type of car.
This car will work in every condition whether it is raining or fog and mist, whether it is an urban area or rural area, whether it is a congested road or not it does not matter.
It can function in every condition. Every company targets to reach at this level.
Google Self-driving car project-WAYMO
Google Waymo ‘ self-driving car’ project was launched by Google in 2009 which aims to make the automatic car.
The project took artificial intelligence-driven Self-driving cars to the next level. It reduced road accidents due to human errors as machines are more accurate than human beings.
Google estimated that about 94% of road accidents occurred due to human error which can be reduced by the use of artificial intelligence.
It will also save a significant amount of time of humans that is wasted on the road while driving a car. Google believes that self-driving Cars will improve road safety and will also help people who didn’t know to drive.
It was showcased in Google I/O 2018.
Waymo is not only a single AI project by Google. Google has implemented Artificial Intelligence in its whole ecosystem. For more details, check our blog – Artificial Intelligence in Google|2020|Chrome|Assistant|Apps
Another outbreak in this industry is brought by the company Tesla owned by Elon Musk.
He launched Tesla autopilot which include feature which makes Self-driving cars intelligent enough to change lanes on its own, active cruise control, self-parking car autonomously on some highways, etc.
The car includes 8 360° cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors (which detect both hard and soft obstacles nearby the car).
There is a radar which sends waves of the particular wavelength which can see even through heavy rain, fog, mist and dust
Future use of artificial intelligence in self-driving cars
There are enormous ways in which we can update cars using Artificial Intelligence and make these cars smarter than humans.
It can take decisions even in critical situations. In the future maybe a self-driving car can move safely in a highly congested road or narrow road without the need of drivers.
These Self-driving cars can change the route to their destination on their own. Artificial Intelligence can also make the ride of the car even more relaxing.
For ex: Artificial Intelligence can learn the seat adjustment of every user of the car and adjust the seat before Rider sit on it.
It can automatically adjust the temperature of the car according to the usage pattern of the rider. Maybe it can also set music and song according to the mood of the rider.
In the future maybe self-driving cars can be used to pick up and drop students to their classes on their own and even reach the pickup point on the time.
Artificial Intelligence can also increase the safety of the car. It can send emergency alarms to the car owner if anything happens to the car.
If the car exceeds the safe speed limit then automatically AI will slow down the car. It can also indicate the owner if the car goes out of town.
Also cars can automatically contact police authorities if someone tries to steal the car by unlawfully breaking it.
This will ensure safety of these ai-powered Self-driving cars.
If you want to know more about the future of artificial intelligence, check our blog-Future of Artificial Intelligence|21st-Century |Human’s Future|Boon or Bane
Limitations of self-driving car
Even if a self-driving car has many positive sides which will make the ride of the user more sound and relaxing. But we can’t ignore its negative side.
There are enormous cases of accidents due to the self-driving car from 2014 to 2019. According to a source, There are 88 cases of accidents due to self-driving cars.
There were many reasons for these accidents like incomplete or improper navigation by map provider system, due to improper signboard and lack of decision making during critical situations.
But the major cause of accidents is humans. It is estimated that 81 of 88 accidents are caused due to human errors on roads.
It makes humans a major obstacle in the path of development towards artificial intelligence integration with Self-driving cars. Even after an accident no person takes the responsibility which makes the situation even worse.
With the advancement in artificial intelligence, self-driving cars are also growing at a rapid pace. With the improvement of technology, there is a decrease in accidents due to these cars.
Map providers should keep updating their maps on a regular basis which is like water to these cars. Government authorities should update the signboards and traffic lights with the latest technology.
To make self-driving cars a part of our life, we should follow proper rules as till now artificial intelligence is not smart enough to take quick actions in do or die situation.
Self-driving car manufacturers in every country should follow the same technology so that every car remains interconnected to each other and traffic runs at a smooth pace. There should be a universal system for these cars.
Artificial intelligence plays a very significant role in making self-driving cars successful. If you want to know more about artificial intelligence (AI), check our blog- Artificial Intelligence Meaning|2020|AI vs ML|Ultimate Guide
Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)
No, only in some situations (where there are human errors). Otherwise, these cars are very safe. These cars stop themselves when they feel they cannot drive or alarms the user to take control.
Some best self-driving car manufacturing companies are Tesla, Google (Alphabet), BMW, and Audi.
One of the possible reasons why some best car manufacturing companies like Ferrari, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Rolls Royce aren’t currently working on these projects because self-driving cars are at a very initial level.
So any fatality due to their car will be ink spot on their brand value. So these brands will only involve in these projects after the technology will reach at a certain safe level.
The first autonomous car was developed in 1925 by Francis Houdini.
It was a radio-controlled car, which he drives through the streets of Manhattan without anyone at the steering wheel.
Yes, these types of cars are electric because they are basically controlled by computer systems which need electricity to work.
This amount of electricity cannot be provided by petrol, diesel on CNG cars.
These self-driving cars will be expensive for a few years because a large amount of money, manpower, and time is invested in developing this technology.