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Autonomous Vehicles Systems

Autonomous vehicles use sensory systems to make them sense their surroundings. These systems are radar, lidar, GPS, odometry and computer vision. To understand how it is possible to have a car that makes decisions, knows the traffic, knows where to go and the best way to go, we should take a look at each of these systems:Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 5.00.13 p.m.

  • The radar is an object-detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, and/or velocity, of the car;
  • The lidar is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser;
  • The GPS (Global Positioning System) is a space-based navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth where there is a clear line of sight to four or more GPS satellites;
  • Odometry is the use of data from motion sensors to estimate change in position over time;
  • Computer vision is a field that includes methods for acquiring, processing, analyzing and understanding images and, in general, high-dimensional data from the real world in order to produce numerical or symbolic information, in this case, in forms of decisions.

All these 5 systems combined enable the car to know when to stop – measuring the distance between it and the car in front –, how to park – measuring distances and making decisions –, knowing where to go – with help of GPS –, between other features.

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