Volvo To Release Self-Driving Cars In Two Years

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  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Self-Driving Cars in Real-World Traffic With Real Customers

    Volvo has provided details of its plan to carry out a project with 100 self-driving cars in Gothenburg’s real-world traffic. The project reveals which problems autonomous driving will be confronted with.

    Starting in 2017, Volvo will test autonomous driving in a large-scale trail with commuters. The vehicles to be used are latest model XC90 SUVs crammed with sensors. But the project also makes clear that sensors and sensors and algorithms in the car are not enough – many success-critical data come from outside the car.

    The set of sensors in the self-driving vehicles will be sophisticated: Besides a long-range 76GHz radar in the rear-view mirror, the vehicles will have four radars behind the front and rear bumpers, one on each corner of the car. These radar sensors will detect and locate objects in all directions. By sweeping both left and right, transmitting waves that bounce off signs, poles, and tunnels, they monitor a full 360 degrees around the car.

    Four cameras monitor objects in close proximity to the vehicle.

    A multiple beam laser scanner is placed in the front of the vehicle, below the air intake.

    This laser sensor has a range of 150 meters for vehicles and covers a 140 degrees field of view.

    In addition, a trifocal camera placed behind the upper part of the windscreen is three cameras in one, providing a broad 140 degrees view, a 45 degrees view and a long-range, yet narrow, 34 degrees view for improved depth perception and distant-object detection. The camera can spot suddenly appearing pedestrians and other unexpected road hazards.

    Two long-range radars placed in the rear bumper of the car ensure a good rearward field of view.

    Twelve ultrasonic sensors around the car are used to identify objects close to the vehicle and support autonomous drive at low speeds.

    All together, this represents a rather sophisticated collection of on-board sensors. It will be complemented by a high definition 3D digital map to provide the vehicle with information about the surroundings, e.g. altitude, road curvature, number of lanes, geometry of tunnels, guard rails, signs, exits, etc. The position geometry is in many cases at centimeter level.

    The high performance GPS is one part of the positioning control

    In addition, the vehicle complements the sensor-generated information of its surroundings by utilizing V2V connectivity, and for current traffic and map data it will be connected to cloud services

    To guarantee the highest safety level possible, all relevant systems in the car – brake, steering system, control computers are implemented redundantly, Coelingh said.

    “The system tests itself constantly. It has to be able to detect that its sensors cannot detect anymore. In such a case, the driver will be alerted and the automatic driving function will be disengaged”, Coelingh said. “The real challenge is to make this system work not only most of the time, but also under exceptional conditions.”

    The driver is not obligated to stay alert and keep his view on the road; he can read mails, listen to music or even knit.

    “The only precondition is that he is in the driver’s seat and he is sober”, Mertens said. “We do not assume that the driver can over immediately”.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    One thousand Volvo to discuss with each other

    Volvo Cars has started a joint project with Sweden and Norway traffic authorities. The project as much as a thousand vehicles to share information with each other through a cloud.

    ITS project (Intelligence Transport System) is to get rid of surprises on the road. – The more information we can share the road, the less surprises will receive. And it is we want to avoid surprises, says the ITS project manager Erik Israelsson Volvo.

    The project is implemented by means of a warning for icy road conditions. In addition, the system warns the other cars, if someone has an emergency flashers on. — this is only the beginning.

    The aim is that the ITS system could become a commercial use within a few years.



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