Cars of the Future Are We Ready

Once upon a time, we watched movies and shows that showed us cars of the future flying around. Today, the car of the future may not fly but they are here. Many car companies are developing self-driving cars and testing them on the streets. We hear about how one day; driverless cars will be on the road making deliveries or used as taxis. On television, there is a multitude of commercials about new cars that use sensors to self-park, turn on the brakes, and keep the car in its lane.

All these new features are supposed to help us feel safe and reduce the number of accidents on the road.

Entirely autonomous cars have a lot of promise. For example, to make transportation safer by decreasing the number of accidents caused by distracted driving. To help reduce emissions, make commuting to work more comfortable, and lessen the search for parking spots. One essential problem that needs to be addressed is the visual perception problem.

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The technology is used to provide cars with the ability to sense their surroundings. Cameras are the expected choice as a primary sensor for self-driving cars since lane markings, road signs, traffic lights, and other navigational aids are designed for the human visual system. At the same time, cameras provide data for a wide range of tasks required by self-driving cars including 3D mapping, visual localization, and 3D obstacle detection while working both in indoor and outdoor environments. For full autonomy, it is important that the car can perceive objects all around it.

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This can be achieved by using a multi-camera system that covers the full 360◦ field-of-view (FOV) around the car. Cameras with a wide FOV, or fisheye cameras, can be used to minimize the number of required cameras plus the overall cost of the system.

Many main car manufacturers and technology companies such as Google are currently working on developing self-driving cars. Google’s self-driving car depends on a combination of lasers, radars, and cameras using a roof-mounted sensor pod to navigate pre-mapped surroundings. The cars use a custom-built, expensive, and omnidirectional 3D laser to shape a laser reflectivity map of an environment. Then it compares it against that map and detects obstacles. Others use a low-cost surround-view multi-camera system. Such multi-camera systems can be found on mass-market cars from well-known automotive manufacturers, including BMW, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan. Tesla Motors’ autopilot feature enables autonomous driving on highways through a combination of a forward-looking camera and radar. However, because of the limited field of view, cars cannot perform autonomous driving in cities that need surrounding awareness.

The cars of the future may not fly but they are here, and one day these new features will eventually be standard in all cars. Especially if they are successful in preventing accidents and deaths. This can also be beneficial to drivers by lowering insurance costs. As technology advances, we know what we will see in the future of car manufacturing. There are already ideas about using autonomous cars as taxis or to deliver goods and food to people at their homes. We are already seeing stores with less cashiers and more self-checkouts. There are even some stores that let you use an app to scan and pay for items as you shop. New technology is always exciting but sometimes it can be scary too. We must be careful of how and why we use it.

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Cars of the Future Are We Ready. (2021, Dec 26). Retrieved from

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