Heard Right: Driverless taxi services has hit the street of Singapore on 25th August 2016 by company called NuTonomy, leaving behind the big giants like Uber or Google. Currently its available on trial basis and request can be put it through its mobile app.
Driverless taxi/car a possibility can be termed as revolutionary as for “Mobile Device”, who would have thought about features what we have in mobile 40 years ago when Motorolla was trying to design first mobile phone. This is something amazing and excite me.
How does it work:
Car is fitted with laser system and advanced cameras which will update the surrounding of cars in software to make the driving decision. Car is fitted with dashboard to inform about speed and other relevant parameters. One more aspect of this is to learning of car itself before put to use, means there is lot of local environment learning (road condition, possible avoidance route, weather condition etc) which has to go into the software.
Have you thought what kind of Map it will require to run these autonomous cars on the road, general 2D Maps or Google Maps will not be of great of help, typically for driver less cars map should have:
- Ability to interpret the road,
- Traffic Sign
- Road Lane Details
- purpose of lane,
- Right Turn/Left Turn Only Lane,
- Off course 3D view to sense the heights.
Above mention are some of the map features which is essential to success of endeavors like Driverless cars.
Mobileye an Israel company provides the 3D maps that recognize purpose, right of way etc and work in off-line (without Internet) and On-line mode. Mobileye is already into developing algorithms and technology for Collision avoidance, autocar parking solution which is being used by BMW/AUDI.
I imagine future travel will be fully automated with auto-navigation in next 5 to 10 years which can be fully trusted by users. Countries like Singapore is ideal for such kind of driverless taxi services where roads are aligned and systematic with a limited geography, but its really difficult to predict how such technology will be feasible to implement in India but definitely it will add to the road safety and help in smart driving.