Inevitably, new robotic systems could start a new revolution in the automotive industry by adding ‘eyes’ and a ‘brain’ for cars. Like an intelligent robot, any car is transformed in what I can say the taxi of the future, your own taxi that can wait a new destination or commands to play a movie or to start your favorite playlist.
In UK at Oxford University’s Mobile Robotics Group (MRG), a group of researchers designs an autonomous navigation system at a lower price that can be incorporated in series cars like Nissan LEAF.
Maybe is not just a coincidence that the researchers use a full electric car to integrate the navigation system. Electric cars and now autonomous cars are made for future. A lower price for a self-driving car is a viral condition to build in the series this type of robotic cars in the next few years. This is not the first project for an autonomous car. Automakers from all over the world are striving to build the most advanced and cheapest autonomous car. If an assistant system has already raised the price of a car, a fully autonomous car involves much more than modifying a series car.
The system incorporated in the LEAF has a price of US $7,700 and can take the control of the car if the driver often uses the route.
How Navigation System Works
The aim of the research team is to create a navigation system that can be integrated in series cars. This will have a positive impact on the production costs and the final result is a cheapest and smart car.
Using standard components and many programming lines, the autonomous system has a compact design and can be integrated with the computer of the car plus other computer units. Researchers avoided GPS technology since the satellite connections are not always available and is not very accurate.
Based on perception, the system monitors the roads and learns the routes most commonly used by the drivers. An artificial intelligence system uses stereo cameras, laser sensors in front and rear bumpers for a 3D vision.
All objects on the road as well as pedestrians are scanned in every second for 13 times and for 50 meters. Using complex algorithms, the system can identify the direction of objects and if there is a chance of collision, the system slows and stops the car.
The interface for driver is simple and uses an iPad. Since the road signs or roads may change, the iPad is connected to the Internet for updates of his proper system. After all information is available in the brain of the system and up to date, the driver can start the autonomous system.