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Autonomous Vehicle Technology

Source: Argo AI

Approximately 1.35 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,700 people lose their lives every day on the roads. An additional 20-50 million suffer non-fatal injuries, often resulting in long-term disabilities.

What is Autonomous Vehicle? An autonomous vehicle is one that can drive itself from a starting point to a predetermined destination in “autopilot” mode using various in-vehicle technologies, less human control is key figure here.

Can Autonomous Vehicle Technology be the answer to reduce above mentioned stats figures?

The continuing evolution of automotive technology aims to deliver even greater safety benefits and automated driving systems (ADS) that — one day — can handle the whole task of driving when we don’t want to or can’t do it ourselves.
Fully automated cars and trucks that drive us, instead of us driving them, is what AVT strives to archive.
Automated vehicles have the potential to remove human error from the crash equation, which will help protect drivers and passengers, as well as bicyclists and pedestrians.

An autonomous vehicle requires a high level of information to reach its destination safely. It is therefore equipped with a full range of sensors.
It collects and crunches recorded data to create a 360-degree picture of its environment – infrastructures, other vehicles and pedestrians, or anything else in its path.
Real time processing of the data allows the driverless vehicle system to decide how to behave to progress safely along the road (stop, go, or slow down).

Another possible advantage of automated driving is that people who are not able to drive – due to factors like age and disabilities – could be able to use automated cars as more convenient transport systems.

AV technology is entering a period of development maturity and the complex challenges of implementation are now the most important points of discussion - the potential of autonomous vehicle technology seems greater than ever.
Reduced CO2 emissions, traffic congestion, lower travel costs and the end of searching for a parking spot could make our commute a lot more comfortable.

Source: Cruise Automation

Layers of Vehicle Autonomy
different cars are capable of different levels of self-driving, and are often described by researchers on a scale of 0-5.

Level 0: - All major systems are controlled by humans

Level 1: - An advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) on the vehicle can sometimes assist the human driver with either steering or braking/accelerating, one at a time.

Level 2: - An advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) on the vehicle can itself actually control both steering and braking/accelerating simultaneously under some circumstances, but requires humans for safe operation (“monitor the driving environment”) at all times and perform the rest of the driving task.

Level 3: - An automated driving system (ADS) on the vehicle can itself perform all aspects of the driving task under some circumstances. In those circumstances, the human driver must be ready to take back control at any time when the ADS request the human driver to do so.

Level 4: - An automated driving system (ADS) on the vehicle can itself perform all driving tasks and monitor the driving environment – essentially, do all the driving – in certain circumstances. The human need not pay attention in those circumstances.

Level 5: - The car is completely capable of self-driving in every situation. An automated driving system (ADS) on the vehicle can do all the driving in all circumstances. The human occupants are just passengers and need never be involved in driving.

Additional advantages that come with an autonomous vehicle technology are elimination of driving fatigue and being able to sleep during overnight journeys.

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