Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous Vehicles

Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3479-3.ch001
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The first car was invented in 1870 by Siegfried Marcus. Actually, it was just a wagon with an engine but without a steering wheel and without brakes. Instead, it was controlled by the legs of the driver. Converting traditional vehicles into autonomous vehicles was not just one step. The first step was just 28 years after the invention of cars, that is to say 1898. This step's concept was moving a vehicle by a remote controller. Since this first step and as computers have been becoming advanced and sophisticated, many functions of modern vehicles have been converted to be entirely automatic with no need of even remote controlling. Changing gears was one of the first actions that could be done automatically without an involvement of the driver, so such cars got the title of “automatic cars”; however, nowadays there are vehicles that can completely travel by themselves although they are not yet allowed to travel on public roads in most of the world. Such vehicles are called “autonomous vehicles” or “driverless cars”.
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Autonomous vehicles will noticeably change the worldwide transport market. Autonomous vehicles will improve our quality of life and road safety. The number of traffic accidents will be significantly reduced. In Addition, autonomous vehicles can improve on the parking issues like the ability to park in a remote location in a rural fringe of the city. These vehicles will be more fuel efficient and their insurance will be cheaper. Also, people with disabilities can greatly benefit from this technology and military autonomous vehicles can prevent injuries and deaths in combat.

There are many practical obstacles and law difficulties that should be discussed. There were several car accidents where autonomous vehicles were involved (Wiseman & Grinberg, 2016a), (Wiseman & Grinberg, 2016b), (Wiseman & Grinberg, 2016c), (Wiseman & Grinberg, 2018). Until now two of these accidents were very tragic resulting in the death of a person.

There are several companies along with several government branches (especially military branches) that develop autonomous vehicles. Many of their products will be available for use in the coming years.

There is a need for more research until a car will be able to safely take us to our destination, without being involved in an accident and without having to drive or be there at all. Where is our car on the scale of autonomy and advanced safety? The international automotive organization SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers) has defined six different levels of autonomous driving, or independent, in vehicles (SAE, 2014). This scale is quite acceptable in the autonomous vehicle industry. These six levels are divided into two groups: The three low levels require the driver to be active at least in part. In the high three levels, there may be situations where the driver is not required to drive at all. These six levels are listed herein below:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Intelligent Driver Assistance Systems (IDAS): Devices aiming at improving vehicle safety, for example, blind spot monitor or traffic signs recognition.

Computer Vision: Systems that are in charge of an autonomous vehicle’s ability to observe its surroundings.

Platooning: Multiple autonomous vehicles that communicate and change information in order to move and maneuver simultaneously. Commonly the vehicles go in a convoy, so as to increase road capacity.

Absolute Positioning: A system that is able to locate the precise autonomous vehicle position, so the vehicle will be able to know where it should make its turns.

Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR): A laser-based radar used in autonomous vehicles. In nowadays autonomous vehicles, the LIDAR unit is typically located on the vehicle roof with the aim of enabling unimpeded 360-degree view of the autonomous vehicle surroundings.

Far Infrared Sensors (FIRS): Sensors employed by autonomous vehicles with the purpose of obtaining the heat outline of pedestrians or animals, so as to avoid a collision with them. These sensors can work together with traditional cameras and LIDAR, so as to decide together on the safest choice.

Automated Highway System (AHS): A system that is capable to drive a vehicle in a highway by itself in a pre-determined route. This system can significantly reduce distances currently necessitated between vehicles, so as a result such systems will be able to relief many traffic congestions. Such systems are typically combined with adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance systems and typically used by autonomous vehicles level 3 or higher.

Internet of Vehicles (IoV): Internet of vehicles is a wireless network used for information exchange between vehicles, infrastructure, pedestrians using the traditional Internet protocols and networks.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communication: Communication technology enabling information exchange between vehicles.

Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I): Communication technology enabling information exchange between vehicles and infrastructures.

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