The most common autopilots controls aircraft and rail transport. In the first case because there are few obstacles for movement, and in the second case - the small probability of deviation from the specified course.
On the one hand, it’s a good idea. The main idea is to limit the number of accidents on the roads and control the overall physical condition of the driver.
If the driver is tired or God forbid, has fallen asleep at the wheel - the truck will pull itself over, reducing the risk of accidents. The autopilot will follow up road markings through a variety of cameras and sensors, will select the optimum speed, keep a distance from the vehicle ahead of him and stop the truck when it is impossible to continue the movement.
The Volkswagen Group is moving in the same direction developing a Temporary Auto Pilot system, TAP, or "Temporary autopilot" for cars. The new invention combines existing systems for tracking the road with those already used in various combinations in the auto series. The autopilot drives at up to 130 km / h, following road rules.
The project aims to create a car that can travel in automatic mode, however, the driver can always take control and retains full control over what is happening. There is a partnership: a man always keeps track of the system and can adjust or turn off the autopilot at any time.
In addition, Cadillac promises to connect the autopilot with satellite navigation in his Super Cruise system. The absence of a human driving is ambiguous and has not been researched enough. There has not yet been established a road infrastructure adapted to the autopilot, nor the necessary legal framework. The one question "how to behave in the autopilot in an emergency, if there will be passengers in the car, and who will be responsible for the consequences" - is already causing wariness among the society. Especially when it comes to children. Manufacturers also can be understood - they are forced to put the cart before the horse and at full speed to move to the absolute elimination of the driver from behind the wheel, this is progress. VOLVO Autopilot offers SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) is based on the principle electronic connectors action - controlled via the car moving ahead of the car. Wireless communication between machines is activated after approaching it by a predetermined distance, and the follower follows the leader every time.
Somehow I imagined that in this way a trucker can lead a whole column of trucks. The salary, although increased, is paid to one person, although the responsibility increases.
This same case of putting the cart before the horse is presented in autopilot systems V2V - vehicle-to-vehicle ( «machine-to-machine") and V2I - vehicle-to-infrastructure ( «vehicle-to-infrastructure"). Cars not only interact with the vehicles next to them, but also with the road infrastructure. According to the network, which must be protected, autopilots get the necessary information about the road condition and traffic density, and as a result may make a decision on the need to slow down, speed up or change lanes without the driver. As well they pre-select a detour route in the case of, for example, road repair or broken traffic lights. V2V technology from Delphi are going to be equipping Cadillac. System capabilities can be assessed, according to statements made by automakers, already in 2020. You can say, the "harmless" autopilot was created by the wizards of Hitachi. Small, with a low-speed of 6 kilometers per hour, the electric Hitachi Ropits was originally designed for senior citizens, so that they could go for walks and enjoy nature. One seats himself into this small car through the convertible top front part. It moves using the map data, and a set of different sensors. A GPS module, laser range finder and two cameras determine the location, obstacles on the road and the occasional pedestrian. Active suspension makes the car stable. If you want to drive fast, you can take a joystick and taxi booth on wheels, that’s up to you.
An equally innocuous little thing - a fully self-contained WEpod van - runs in the Netherlands. Energetically realizing its 8 km / h, it carries six passengers in traffic being controlled by a complex set of systems, including the "brain" of NVIDIA solutions. The minibus, moving along the route, recreates the full picture of what is happening around itself, and assesses the situation, according to producers, faster and more objectively than a person. Among the manufacturers that are remotely related to the automotive industry, the most famous was the Google autopilot corporation. Equipped with such a system, the vehicle has already traveled a couple thousand kilometers without human intervention. Google's System understands the traffic signs, maneuvers and properly orientates itself at intersections. In case of an error voice system alerts the driver, who can immediately take control into their own hands.
Moving along the way of driver-car communication (a great way to prevent sleeping behind the wheel) is IBM. Its Techmobile development works only when it is given a command. After the command, for example, "start the engine" - a built-in computer will tactfully inquire whether he understood you correctly. And as soon as you say the magic word "Run", the command will be executed immediately. On the road, among other things, the car can read aloud received e-mails or answer a phone call. In Techmobile there is an integrated infrared sensor constantly monitoring the amount of heat emitted from the driver's eyes. As soon as the driver falls asleep at the wheel, the computer will immediately bring him to his senses. However, the methods of resuscitation are still unknown ...
The advantages of automatic driving systems are obvious:
- You have time to educate yourself, eat breakfast, if there was no time to do it at home or just have a short morning nap.
- If we exclude emergency situations, it is much more likely to get home safe and sound.
- the autopilot will not violate the rules of the road, will not fall asleep at the wheel, will not consume alcoholic drinks and will not be racing with another driver, increasing the risk of an accident happening. Besides, he will not be talking on his cell phone, has all-round view and perfect vision, complies with the optimal speed mode, saving fuel and reducing pollution.
At one time when the first cars came out, people would throw rotten eggs at them, no one believed that they could be more effective than a horse and cart. Mobile developers were denied funding because no one could imagine the possibilities of mobile communication. The world is changing at rapid speed and what will happen next with the autopilot we are sure to find out soon.