Automated Driving System
Automated Driving System: The transportation system has seen a lot of changes from its inception. First, there were just cycles that need to be operated by human effort. Then came engine vehicles in which humans only need to direct the vehicle to do a certain thing. And now, the new era of transportation. It is believed to take people from one place to another without needing to do anything to operate the vehicle.
Introduction to automated driving
There are various things we do on a day to day basis. Those things include commuting from one place to another. Whether it be driving from work to home every day or just driving to the supermarket to get the groceries regularly. It is no doubt that driving is a part of everyday life. However, driving is a very hectic task.
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We have to keep all our senses active. We have to keep our eyes on the road, listen to the horns and be very careful while driving. Hence, driving is not a very easy thing to do. Due to this reason, not everyone is allowed to drive. Only people of specific age groups are allowed to drive. And they require a license which they get after passing the test. So, it is clear that not everyone can drive or is allowed to drive.
Now, what can be done, if people want to own a car and not drive it themselves? Other than employing a personal driver which can be very expensive, there is no other option just yet. But it can change very soon. With the rapid pace of development of machine learning and artificial intelligence, automation of things are not a thing of a distant future anymore. Not very long ago, it seemed that automated driving is an impossible thing to achieve.
However, with the current progress in the road mapping technology and advanced algorithm, automated driving in the developmental stage. We can see some car manufactures already implementing certain kinds of automated driving in their vehicles. Their car comes with features such as lane-keeping assistant, automatic parking and so on.
Different stages of automated driving
There are various stages of automated driving as per the capability of the vehicle to drive itself with the minimum human interaction. The various stages of automated driving are as follows:
- Level 0: This level of driving automation means there is no automation. That means the driver has to be in full control of the steering as well as acceleration and deceleration of the whole duration of driving.
- Level 1: This level of driving automation means that the driving system provides warnings and mediation of the system during the driving.
- It just informs the driver about the turns, distance of the car ahead and so on. However, it doesn’t perform any action of driving except either steering or acceleration at certain times.
- Level 2: This level of driving automation helps the driver in steering as well as accelerating and braking. It uses information such as road conditions, turns, traffic signals and so on to perform the related task.
- Level 3: This level of driving automation is called conditional automation. This level of automation is capable of driving itself on the road.
- But the system asks the driver to take control of the wheels from time to time. It cannot handle the difficult road conditions hence, it makes the driver drive through these situations themselves. However, the system can drive itself in highways and clear roads.
- Level 4: This level of driving automation is termed as high-level automation. Basically, it can drive itself pretty much under every situation.
- It reads the condition of the road which includes the traffic ahead, the speed of the car in front and so on. It also processes road information such as traffic speed limit, the lane in which the car is driving among others. Having said that, it does ask for the human driver to take control of the wheels occasionally. Still, if the driver doesn’t respond, the car is capable to drive itself.
- Level 5: This level of driving automation is full automation. This is the peak level of the automation of driving. In this system, the car can drive itself in every situation in which a human driver can drive.
- Humans inside the car equipped with level 5 automation can sleep and not worry about anything. The car will do everything related to driving itself without having the human driver to intervene anytime.
Technologies required for automated driving
It is obvious that for such high-level automation such as automated driving, very advanced technologies are required. Technologies such as road mapping, reading of traffic lights as well as the speed of the vehicle in front are required.
Also, the vehicles should be able to keep itself in the driving lane and know when to turn on the turn signals. The vehicles should be always connected to the internet and the connection should never be lost.
In addition, the vehicle needs to avoid collisions as well as accidents. In other words, the system must make sure that the passengers inside the vehicles are safe.
Furthermore, to develop the automated driving system, the vehicles need to know when to brake and do it on time. It also needs to be able to calculate the shortest and the fastest lane so that the passengers reach the destination as soon as possible.
Moreover, the vehicle should maintain its speed below the speed limit by reading the street signs. Hence, for all these, various kinds of cameras and sensors are required to make the car able to drive automatically.
Challenges of automated driving
Since automated driving technologies require a lot of different sensors, there are various challenges to develop technologies. The driving system requires vehicle speed control, road mapping technologies, location and navigation technologies. For these various laser sensors, deep learning technologies, as well as neural networking as well as capable cameras, are required. Also, it is very hard to train the system to recognize all the driving terrains as well as road conditions. Only then the vehicle would be able to drive in any conditions.
Advantages of automated driving
The idea of automated driving surely means there is going to be a whole lot of advantages. Some of its advantages are as follows:
- Anyone would be able to drive a vehicle. Whether it be disabled people, elderly people or children, automated driving will enable them to drive vehicles by themselves. That means, your children could go to school by themselves, you don’t have to drop them. Even your old aged parents or disabled people could go to the hospital without needing anybody to drive them to the hospital.
- There would be significantly less number of road accidents. Since the automated vehicles can detect possible collisions and accidents, it can either warn the passengers or stop the accident from happening. Which means there is going to be a very few road casualties. Also, the roads are going to be a safer place.
- With the use of driverless taxis and delivery vehicles, transportation of people and goods are can be more efficient. Imagine getting the food you ordered to your doorsteps via an automated car with no driver inside.
- Anyone can be able to park the car perfectly without even knowing how to. Yes, parking the car in tight space can be very troublesome for most people. But with the automated driving technology, parking can just be a piece of cake.
Disadvantages of automated driving
Every invention has both advantages as well as disadvantages. In the case of automated driving, there are certain disadvantages as well, some of them are as follows:
- It can create a scarcity of jobs in the future. Many people fear that robots may end up taking our jobs in the near future. This fear could come true with automated driving technology. Many drivers and delivery people may end up losing their jobs with the cars being able to drive themselves. This, in turn, will end up creating the insufficiency of jobs.
- Automated cars can be hacked. Since these cars can be easily hacked by well-trained hackers, they can break into the car system to cause accidents. Hackers can cause the car to accelerate itself and fail the braking system. They can lock the car door and make it unable to open. Hence, they can cause fake accidents.
Semi-Automated Driving technologies available currently
There are various models of semi-automated driving technologies available in this day and age. Some of today’s car has features like a lane-keeping assistant, parking assistant, reverse assistant among others. They can also detect the dangers in the road and then warn the driver. They can read the road signs as well as the speed limit and warn the driver when the car tries to exceed the speed limit.
Semi-automated driving technologies have been adopted by high-end car manufacturing companies such as Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and many more. Some of the cars manufactured from these companies are able to operate at level 4 automated driving.
To conclude, the automated driving system is the next generation of driving experience. However, like every other human invention, it can either be a boon or a curse. In a sense that if it is used as it is intended to be used, it can make out lives easier. Otherwise, if used to harm others, it can be a nightmare.
Similarly, since it enables even the unskilled drivers to drive the vehicle, it will be a child’s play for people who want to drive. However, many skilled drivers may lose their jobs in this process, making them jobless.