“The jump to the autonomous cars will be like when people stopped riding” Elon Musk.
In less time than we think it will be reality to be able to travel in vehicles in which it will not be necessary to drive.
Currently the world of technology and motor is very focused on the market of autonomous cars, which is said to be the future of the car.
It is estimated that by 2020 these cars will become a reality for the general public. To be able to comfortably sit in a car where a central computer takes us to our destination controlling the speed, the trajectory, the braking.
Google announced the project to build an autonomous car in May 2014 and already at the end of that same year it presented a functional prototype putting it on the road.
Google in 2014 then installed in a Toyota Prius sensors to travel in public places without a human driver.
We emphasize in this model the GPS receiver and the inertial motion sensor. We also highlight a sensor called LIDAR that is located on the roof and that can analyze 200 meters around the car in all directions generating a three-dimensional map.
In the Toyota Prius there are four standard automotive radar sensors that help determine the positions of distant objects. Three in the front and one in the back.
A sensor located in the rear left wheel acts as a position estimator measuring small movements that the car generates, thus enabling it to locate its position on a map.
A video camera in the rearview mirror helps recognize mobile objects such as pedestrians and cyclists.
In the US it is expected that autonomous cars go on sale in a short space of time but on the contrary we will have to wait longer to see these in markets such as Latin America and Europe.
The problems that Google had in 2015 in their cars when they came to light were several:
Legal and regulatory problems. It was a big blow to Google that the government of San Francisco forced to put a flyer for humans in autonomous cars and in turn imposed the obligation to use it if necessary.
Technical problems in the operation of vehicles due to traffic lights, traffic lights, displacements to new destinations that did not appear on the maps of the cars.
Problems in the parking. Since these cars were originally intended for basic parking at the same level and at other levels would be required to better understand the environment.
Traffic problems in adverse weather conditions. The cars of google were not accustomed to circulate by atmospheric conditions where there was water, snow, hail.
Problems with pedestrians. Fundamentally there were problems in detecting police officers.
For Google it is essential to minimize risks, hence the progress in cars is so slow.
These cars would work with computers and there to ensure the proper functioning of these.
Google made a restructuring in 2014, creating its own division for the development and production of autonomous cars called Waymo, now owned by Alphabet.
The autonomous cars of Google will remain disconnected from the internet much of the time being difficult to pirate.
As John Krafcik “Waymo CEO” says, “Our cars communicate with the outside world only when they need it, so there is no continuous line of entry to the vehicle that can be hacked.”
“When we say that our cars are autonomous, it’s not just that they are not handled by a human driver, but that there is no continuous connection of the car to the cloud,” he said, adding that cybersecurity is “something that we take very, very really”.
The Waymo cars were not built to be hooked to an external network, says Krafcik. “Think about it, if the system falls and the car depends on it, what does it do? Our car is a truly autonomous vehicle, it does not require an infrastructure.”
John Krafcik commented that the cost savings would be greater when Google began to make the sensors en masse, although it was also open to outsource production to third parties.
Currently, the results of autonomous cars have been fabulous, traveling more kilometers than any other company car and demonstrating great levels of autonomy.
A problem that Google has currently had has been the great loss of Waymo managers. Many motivated by personal projects that have been able to carry out due to the large amount of money they earned for the astronomical salaries they had.
From April 25, 2017, Waymo cars are being tested for the general public. The first to be able to test them are several families in the city of Phonix (USA).
For free, these families will be able to test trips on 500 adopted Chrysler Pacifica cars to be able to drive without driver in urban areas.
Currently Waymo’s strategy is to become the main supplier of autonomous car manufacturers.
Which is very sweet due to the high capacity of obtaining income in an emerging industry.
As early as December 2016, John Krafcik announced that Waymo would build its components. Hence, they are currently focused on production and cost reduction in view of possible future mass production.
Krafcik “Being able to develop our hardware and software under one roof is really valuable”
Source video, text, image: Waymo