Robot cars


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Robot cars

  1. 1. 1 Term Paper on Robot Cars Raghava Kumar Lagudu(10BM60064) MBA 1st year,2010-2012 batch Vinod Gupta School of Management IIT Kharagpur
  2. 2. 2 Table of Contents 1 Abstract 3 2 Introduction 3 3 Evolution of Robot cars 3 4 Alternate visions 5 5 Collision Avoidance 6 6 Google cars 9 7 Summary 12 8 References 14
  3. 3. 3 ABSTRACT This paper gives an introduction about the advancements in science towards a robot driven car .An introduction to collision avoidance system and an overview of the experimental studies of Google robot car are also presented. This paper also presents various collision avoidance techniques in case of adversities like bad weather ,bad roads etc. INTRODUCTION “This car’s is a pretty good driver” quoted by Mikaela from the movie Transformers pointing at the empty drivers seat referring to an Autobot. Soon automatically driven cars is going to be a reality. Robot cars are electronic controlled systems functioning in a reflexive way that automatically adjusts itself to provide assistance to the driver or to maneuver the vehicle all by itself. Robot cars are equipped with autopilot systems which can drive by itself. There had been extensive experimentation on auto pilots cars since 1980s where Mercedes Benz came up with a concept of Robot van. Since then there were many experiments conducted by various automobile companies and some research laboratories .The primary aim of autopilot systems is to reduce the automobile related deaths by using a computer as researchers feel that computers perform consistently better than humans under testing conditions. This paper presents the evolution of driverless cars from the conception of the idea to the latest Google robot cars. Collision avoidance is said to be one of the driving factors for the design of robot cars. Collision avoidance is the process is preventing a vehicle from colliding with any other vehicle or object. The collision avoidance is not an exclusive concern for automobiles it can also be referred to Collision avoidance(Spacecraft),Collision avoidance(aircraft). What is a Robot car ? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Robot cars are to the cars equipped with artificial intelligence software. This technology is required for self driving cars and is already tested in some of the concept cars. There is an incremental path to get us there .Computers are considered to be the most important part of the robot cars. Evolution of Robot Cars: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Computers are the most important components of a Robot car. The evolution started in 1977 in a Japanese laboratory when the computers are much slower than they are today. The fact is that today’s computers are more than 1000 times faster than they are in the 1970s.
  4. 4. 4 Tsukuba Mechanical Engineering Lab in Japan is the first one to experiment with driverless cars in 1977.They came up with a car equipped with special hardware. The car thus developed could achieve a speed of 30Km/Hr on a clearly marked course by tracking the white street markers laid through the course. Mercedes built the robot car in 1980 by converting the S class Mercedes. The car achieved a speed exceeding 175Km/hr .This achievement by Mercedes with a team of professors has heavily influenced robot car research and funding decisions worldwide. The Defense Advanced Research in 1980 has funded for autonomous land vehicle has achieved the first road demonstration. The VaMP and Vita-2 of Daimler-Benz is the first step towards truly autonomous cars. They were able to drive in human traffic with out long interventions using computer vision to recognize rapidly moving obstacles. In 1994 with a safety driver and the guests onboard the twins drove for more than 1000 miles in normal traffic on a highway at speed up to 130Km/hr. An year later in 1995 the autonomous Mercedes Benz took a trip for more than 1600 kms using quick process computer vision along with microprocessor to respond in real time. This car also drove up to 158 kms without any human intervention. In the same year Carnegie Mellon University designed a no hand across semi automatic car which used neural networks to control the steering wheel but the brakes and throttle are human controlled. Key aspects of Robot Car: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Existing Infrastructure is sufficient to bring the Robot cars on to the road to share the space with cars driven by people. But may be with the assistance of small non physical infrastructure like networks and databases.  Safety could be a major reason to take this dream to a reality as automated driving if can be implemented to handle all intricacies of driving will be provide safe and regulated traffic. If the automated driving has to be implemented then it has to have a safety record superior to human driving and much more effective than alert drivers.  Robot cars can be scaled to an extent of driving the car autonomously with out even the need for monitoring by the occupants inside the car. The cars if given the destination will require the least assistance and can navigate on its own.  The concept of building a Robot car emphasizes focus on alternate fuels like electricity and could pave way for electric cars to share the existing market of gasoline cars.
  5. 5. 5 ALTERNATE VISIONS --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  The most effective could be building the special infrastructure like highways and lanes that would allow computer driven vehicles only apart from human driven cars. This vision would also answer the important question of safety as these cars would operate in special lanes which does not involve any human intervention.  Convoy technology-The lead car would be driven by an expert driver and directs a virtual train of self driven vehicles to follow suit. This kind of implementation reduces the complexity involved in multiple drivers in a convoy.  Semi automatic-This kind may be in need of some kind of human assistance in judgment on navigation or getting out of an odd situation, but this may not need 100% of human attention and hence makes the job of driving simple and less intense to the occupant. An early robot car is one that runs on a dedicated guide ways. There is a practical difficulty in implementing this vision on a large scale as the process of customizing the highways gets more complicated.
  6. 6. 6 COLLISION AVOIDANCE Collision avoidance is said to be one of the driving factors for the design of robot cars. Before describing the collision avoidance techniques let us consider the given facts related to United States of America.  A million injuries and loss of 35,000 lives in USA alone because of accidents in one year.  One person in every 6 minutes loose their life in India because of road accidents(According to 98 statistics )  230 billion dollars of accident cost So the task ahead would be to minimize the man made errors .This can be done by reducing human intervention in driving the vehicle by some external assistance . Collision avoidance system equips the car with a set of sensors that warns the driver of any dangers that may lie ahead on the road. The suggestions from the system could be about the proximity of the surrounding cars ,estimates about the average speed to be maintained when approaching a curve, information about weather or traffic. Let us look at the various Collision avoidance system that are tested for implementation in the future cars. Ford Blind spot Collision Avoidance System: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ford is coming up with a collision warning support technology that warns the occupants about the objects in the surroundings that may be a hazard. The car uses a radar that is fixed at the front and rear sides of the car .The system reacts to the external hazards by warning the driver using sound chimes and some red lights fitted at the wind shield. If the hazard still continues then the car takes the control and stops the car . The major features of the Fords Collision system are 1) Ford blind spot information system that alerts the driver about moving vehicles driving through the lot while backing the car in the parking lot when his/her view is blocked by cars .
  7. 7. 7 Activation of sensors in a parking lot when the car is backing. 2) Alert about the external hazards and takes control by pressing the brake hard if the hazard continues . 3) Alerts the driver when an vehicle behind his/her car suddenly shifts the lanes .This will assist when the vehicle moves in the blind spot zone of the driver. 4) Lane departure warning system alerts when the car moves on the lane markers and hence cautions the drift . Stability Control system: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is an electronic stability control system which uses sensors to keep track of the loss in traction in the vehicle which enables the antilock brake system to apply individual brakes to keep the vehicle on the intended path. Let us take a look at how the stability control works. Consider the car is approaching a sharp turn and the driver will enter the curve too quickly and exceed the ability to hold to the road through the turn and during this the car starts skidding and moves away and results in loss of control. Stability control system pulls the brakes and to help rotate the vehicle to the drivers intended path.
  8. 8. 8 Stability control pulsates the brakes of individual wheels to help "rotate" the vehicle to the driver's intended path. These antiskid systems can assist in most of the critical situations but it cannot help the driver when the car is speeding at 100 mph and attempting a 90degree turn.
  9. 9. 9 GOOGLE CARS Eric Shmidt the CEO of Google once said that “It’s a bug that cars were invented before computers .Your car should drive itself.” Google Entry : ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- After revolutionizing the web search, Google is revolutionizing the way people drive their cars. Recently Google revealed in its official blog about the companies findings on the technology that enables the car to drive on its own. They reported that the test cars already clocked 1000 miles with out any human intervention and more than 140,000 miles with minimum human control. This data itself shows how the concept of automatic driven cars has evolved from the time when the car used to trace a marked line to today where the car automatically stops at traffic signals and drives for long distances . The experiment was conducted on seven cars and is manned during the tests. Each vehicle has a person sitting in the drivers seat ready to take control from the automatic mode in case something go wrong with the system. The person sitting in the car is also responsible for monitoring the software operations on the computer. Google took the project seriously and are trying to make the project flawless and successful .
  10. 10. 10 Source :Google Google hired the engineers from the DARPA challenge. DARPA-It is a US military grand challenge .The US department of Defense announced a grand challenge to for US-based teams to produce a vehicle that could autonomously navigate and reach a target in the desert of the south western USA .Today many international teams also participate in the event to compete in a fully autonomous vehicle races under various testing conditions like rough unpaved terrains ,suburban setting(2005), urban setting(2007 DARPA urban challenge) ,etc. Google is proposing that computer can be a better driver than human under the right circumstances and in that sense people would feel be more secure in those cars than self driven. Now the real question comes-What is that Google aiming at ? Probably aiming to develop a Google car OS. The near future will answer that question. As already mentioned the company is in the view that it is cars that should have come after computers but not the other way. It should be the computers that drive the machine but not the human. With the increase in population and ever growing traffic the daily commuting has become a major challenge and occupies substantial time .Time is so precious and people are looking at ways to be more productive or get entertained even during travel. Technology behind Google Cars ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Google equipped the automated cars with video cameras , radio sensors, laser range finders and Google maps to identify the traffic around .Initially conventional cars were sent to map significant features of the route like the lane markers and traffic signs. These maps captured by the conventional cars are used to familiarize the environment and characteristics in advance to the automated cars. The terrain data obtained by these conventional cars is processed by the Google data centers for processing and then the cars uses Artificial intelligence to mimic the decisions made by the human driver. The car can automatically react at the lights and stop signs and has an announcement system which cautions the person at the driving seat on approaching a crosswalk or a school zone. Reports revealed that the automated cars react more quickly and consistently than humans and hence can make the roads safer. When compared to humans computers can use the space more efficiently with better response times which makes the roads more feasible for additional traffic.
  11. 11. 11 Source :Google Another distinctive feature of the Google cars is that the car can be programmed according to the personalities of the occupant. Cautious and aggressive. If driven in the cautious mode the car is like to give way to another speeding vehicle on the other hand if driven in the aggressive mode the car would like to be the first to go. The fuel consumption is a value add to the proposition as the heavy foot stop and go procedure can be eliminated by the automation and there by yielding a better fuel efficiency than human driven cars and hence can save the Nations fuel costs if implemented at a large scale. A distant vision does excite some of the optimists that the vehicles can drive by itself when summoned/commanded electronically as in the case of TV series Night Rider and the movie Batman. In this case fewer cars would be needed as they can be shared by people .Like the same car after dropping the husband in the office can get back to home and can be used for other purposes . However there could be many legal issues that could delay the inevitable. Accountability and interaction is one such big challenge from a legal point of view.
  12. 12. 12 FUTURE OF ROBOTIC CARS Summary: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Robocars are soon going to be a reality .Google cars which already clocked 1000 miles is an indication towards this milestone.  The system uses artificial intelligence to either assist the driver in collision avoidance or drive the vehicle by itself.  Collision avoidance is an extremely important development as many as 1.2 million lives are lost worldwide in accidents.  Saves hundreds of billions of accident cost by reducing the accident rate.  Recent report of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated that the impact of automated control systems in car can save 10,000 lives a year when compared to 1200 lives saved by the safety equipment like airbags  Blind spot information and lane detection system, auto brake system are few techniques to avoid collisions under different conditions  Military Prompted-Military demand and desire for such automated systems by the general public is one of the major driving factor towards this vision.  E cars-Move towards computer equipped cars will also focus on alternate fuels like electricity  Greener: Efficient electric cars could reduce urban car greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.  Electric cars would reduce the dependency on oil producing countries and hence brings in stability to the transporting sector.  Ultra light electric cars can be more economical and efficient that heavy passenger vehicles.  Completely autonomous vehicles will be beneficial for people who are looking at ways to be more productive or get entertained even during travel  Autonomous vehicles can also ride on the streets safely with human driven cars and pedestrians.  Traffic congestion and parking problems can be handled more efficiently with the advent of robot cars.  Cars that can be summoned-Same car can used efficiently for multiple purposes by multiple people  Robotaxi , a car that can be summoned using a cell phone which will bring itself to you on demand and gives you the freedom to choose the right car.  Low Infrastructure costs: Existing Infrastructure is sufficient to bring the Robot cars on to the road to share the space with cars driven by people
  13. 13. 13  Mandate can made by developed countries about the computer controlled vehicle control for every car in the near future to have safe and efficient traffic .  Already the Anti lock Braking System(ABS) needed to stabilize the car in turnings is becoming a must feature in the new model cars.  There is a shift in auto companies affinity towards developing automated systems from providing safety features like airbags to prevent the accident rather than minimizing the impact of accident.  Many companies are coming with image processors to identify the presence of an obstruction like a pedestrian or the vehicle. However there could be many legal issues that could delay the inevitable. Accountability and interaction is one such big challenge from a legal point of view.
  14. 14. 14 REFERENCES: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Where Robocars can really take us : By Brad Templeton  Google cars-a self driven Machine : A technical article in Dazeinfo  Google cars drive themselves in traffic : The New York times editorial  Stability control from How Stuff Works