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How IoT is Driving the Autonomous Vehicle Revolution
IoT and autonomous vehicle driving have a direct connection. Without IoT, achieving such an autonomous vehicle revolution is impossible. We have always liked the concept of automated vehicles, inspired by the movies where self-driving cars run on the road. We find them futuristic, and surely they are! But how is IoT driving the autonomous vehicle revolution? Let us see how smart cars work and the role of IoT in automated vehicles.
Why Self-Driving Cars?
Sometimes misbelieved, self-driving cars have much more safety features than just a normal car. Smart cars have the technology to detect nearby objects and their speed. This ability prevents and has prevented many road accidents due to driver mistakes. The automated emergency brake system has also prevented many accidents.
Nowadays, we can find hybrid cars which run on gasoline but have smart features like automated steering control and an autonomous braking system. Once the smart mode is enabled, the car runs on the steering command of the driver but also monitors nearby and front objects simultaneously. In case of an emergency or detecting high speed, when something comes up ahead of the car, the car automatically slows down. Fully automated cars also have these safety features. And who doesn't like futuristic cars with automated steering?
How Automated Car Works?
For any automated vehicle, the main technology is object detection. A good self-driving car is called safe when its object detection accuracy is the highest. Many things pass by the car, like trucks, cars, bikes, poles, fencing and all the things on the street, including humans or animals. It has different sensors and cameras all around the car's body to detect all the objects near the car.
They are synchronized to one main OS and use the data, which signals where to turn the car and where to apply brakes. Machine Learning helps to provide brain structure to the machine, while IoT helps to get more accurate sensors detecting objects near the car. Sharp manoeuvring and safety features are pre-programmed to avoid any accidents. GPS-enabled automated cars provide current location and destination to automatically reach any point via finding the shortest, most efficient path.
This is a simple but challenging concept because we require more powerful CPUs to do more processinLike our brain consumes most of the energy to process data provided by the vision, and we rest our eyes while sleeping. Many algorithms and technologies are required to build a running automated car. Like all computer vision techniques, object detection, speed recognization, trajectory prediction, brake function, traffic signal detection, pedestrian detection, ray tracing, shortest path finding algorithm, etc.
Level of Car Automaton
One can say how much the car is automated depending on the level of car automation. Level 0 is a manual car, while level 5 is a fully automated. This can help customers to find their best vehicle according to their requirements. Different cars provide different levels of automation, and prices vary a lot between levels of automation.
Level 0 − Fully manual car, with no automation or smart sensors that are completely human control.
Level 1 − Level 1 can be called cars with automated features like “Cruise Control” and “Autonomous Braking System”. The new cars in the market have most commonly these features inbuilt.
Level 2 − Slightly more advanced than cruise control is level 2 automation. The car has basic automation like braking or accelerating on its own and steers automatically for a shorter route. Still, the driver has to put their hands on the steering and is responsible for running the car. An example of such automation can be found in Audi’s auto assist and Supercruise feature in Mercedez.
Level 3 − On certain conditions, the car can run hundreds of kilometres without input from the driver. Still, the driver has to take control of the car when needed. More advanced than level 2, but in good condition. Traffic jam assist and auto parking features are included, and Tesla can be included in level 3 only for good street conditions and simple manoeuvring.
Level 4 − Level 4 provides highly autonomous cars running in city traffic and high-speed highways. Currently, Japan is developing level 4 automation cats available this year.
Level 5 − Fully automated car, requires no driver. None can achieve level 5 technology, as it can only be seen in sci-fi movies. It requires a large network grid in a centralized manner, just like robots lifting packages from one place and dropping them in another place inside any large, highly advanced company.
Who Manufactures Autonomous Cars?
In the field of autonomous cars, Tesla currently comes first in the highlight, trying to achieve a fully autonomous car that currently lies between level 2 and level 3. Other manufacturing companies like Hyundai, Morris Garages, Volkswagen, Ford, Volvo, Toyota, etc., work on smart cars. There are some cases of fatality issues also in autonomous driving where accidents happen due to some mechanical error. Research is done continuously in this field to overcome those errors by all the autonomous car manufacturers.
Electric vehicles are the future because of the increasing prices of petroleum products. And smart driving assists people in doing their work in long drives and increasing safety features. Smart cars equipped with IoT sensors provide high accuracy and reduce errors, and IoT has given us more advanced low energy-consuming sensors for mapping and connectivity. Moreover, shortly, smart cars can connect to a single cloud grid which informs whether the traffic signal is green or if any fast car is approaching nearby.
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