robotic car seminar report
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We're pretty familiar with autonomous cars around here, and we've even been treated to a rider in one of Stanford's robots at their automotive innovation lab, which they launched inpartnership with Volkswagen. You might also remember Shelley, their autonomous Audi TTS, which autonomously raced to the top of Pikes Peak last year. Volkswagen's thinking behind all ofthis high performance autonomous car stuff is that at some point, they'll beable to program your carto be a far, far better driver than you could ever be, and it'll have the ability to pull some crazy maneuvers to save you from potentialaccidents.Google, who's just down the road from Stanford, seems to understand this, and theyve turned their autonomous cars up to "aggressive" in this driving demo that they gave to some lucky sods in a parking lot at the TED conference in Long Beach. It's pretty impressive: This might seem dangerous, but arguably, this demo is likely safer than a human driving around the parking area at normal speeds, if we assume that the car's sensors are all switched on and it's not just playing back apreset path. The fact is that a car equipped with radar and LIDAR and such can take in much more information, process it much more quickly and reliably, make a correct decision about a complex situation, and then implement that decision far better than a human can. This is especially true if we consider the type of research that is being done with Shelley to teach cars how to make extreme maneuvers, safely. Sowhy aren't we alldriving autonomous cars already? It's nota technical;there are several cars on the road right now with lane sensing, blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control, which could be combined to allow for autonomous highway driving. Largely, the reasons seem to be legal: there's no real framework or precedent for yielding control of a vehicle to an autonomous system, and nobody knows exactly who to blame or sue ifsomething goes wrong. And furthermore, the first time something does go wrong, it's going to be like a baseball bat to the faceoff theentire robotics industry.Anyway, enough of the depressing stuff, here's an outside view of Google's robot carsquealing around that parking lot: For what it's worth, "aggressive" is apparently one of fourdifferent driving personalities that you have the option of choosing from every time to start up one of their robot cars.1. INTRODUCTION
The inventions of the integrated circuit (IC) and later, the microcomputers, were major factors in the development of electronic control in automobiles .Theimportanceofthe microcomputer cannot be overemphasized as itis the brainthat controls many systems intoday scars. For example, in a cruise control system, the driver sets the desired speed and enables the system by pushing a button. A microcomputer then monitors the actual speed of the vehicle using data from velocity sensors. The actual speed is compared to the desired speed and the controlleradjusts the throttle as necessary.A completely autonomous vehicle is one in which a computer performs all the tasks that the human driver normally would. Ultimately, this would mean getting in acar, entering the destination into a computer, and enabling the system. From there, the car would take over and drive to the destination with no human input. The car wouldbe able to sense itsenvironment and make steering and speed changes as necessary. This scenario would require all of the automotive technologies mentioned above: lane detection to aid in passing slower vehicles or exiting a highway; obstacle detection to locate other cars, pedestrians, animals, etc.; adaptive cruise control to maintain a safe speed; collision avoidance to avoid hitting obstacles in the roadway; and lateral control to maintain the cars position on the roadway. In addition, sensors would be needed to alert the car to road orweather conditions to ensure safe traveling speeds. For example, the car would need to slow downing snowy or icy conditions. We perform many tasks while driving without even thinks in about it. Completely automating the car is achallenging task and is a longway off. However, advances havebeen made in the individual systems. Cruise control is common in cars today. Adaptive cruise control, in which the car slows if it detects a slower moving vehicle in front of it, is starting to become available on higher-end models. In addition, some cars come equipped with sensors to determine if an obstacle is near and sounds an audible warning to the driver when itis too close.General Motors has stated that they will begin testing driverless cars by 2015, and. Volvo has begun to develop an almost-autonomous 'road train' system for highways which could be integrated in cars by 2020.Goggles robotic car is a fully autonomous vehicle which is equipped with radar and LIDARand such can take in much more information, process it much more quickly and reliably, make a correct decision about a complex situation, and then implement that decision far better than a human can. 1.1 MILESTONES OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLESAn early representation of the driverless car was Norman Bel Geddes's Futurama exhibit sponsored by General Motors at the 1939 World's Fair, which depicted electric cars powered by circuits embedded in the roadway and controlled byradio.In the 1980s a vision-guided Mercedes-Benz robot van, designed by Ernst Dickmanns and his team at the Bundeswehr University Munich in Munich, Germany, achieved 100 km/h on streetswithouttraffic.Subsequently,theEuropeanCommissionbeganfundingthe800millionEuroEUREKA Prometheus Projecton autonomous vehicles(19871995).Also in the 1980s the DARPA-funded Autonomous Land Vehicle (ALV) in the United States achieved the first road-following demonstration that used laser radar (Environmental Research Institute of Michigan), computer vision (Carnegie Mellon University and SRI), and autonomous robotic control (Carnegie Mellon and Martin Marietta) tocontrol a driverless vehicle up to 30 km/h.In 1987, HRL Laboratories (formerly Hughes Research Labs) demonstrated the first off-roadmap and sensor-based autonomous navigation on the ALV. The vehicle travelled over 600m at 3km/h on complex terrain withsteep slopes, ravines, large rocks, and vegetation.In 1994,the twinrobot vehicles VaMP and Vita-2 ofDaimler-Benz and Ernst DickmannsofUniBwM drove more than one thousand kilometers on aParis three-lane highway in standard heavy traffic at speeds up to 130 km/h, albeit semi-autonomously with human interventions. They demonstrated autonomous driving in free lanes, convoy driving, and lanechanges left and right with autonomous passing of other cars.In 1995, Dickmanns re-engineered autonomous S-Class Mercedes-Benz took a 1600 km trip from Munich in Bavaria to Copenhagen in Denmark and back, using saccadic computer vision and transporters to react in real time.The robot achieved speeds exceeding 175 km/h on the German Autobahn, with a mean timebetween human interventions of 9 km, or 95% autonomous driving. Again it drove in traffic, executing man oeuvres to pass other cars. Despite being a research system without emphasis on long-distance reliability, itdrove up to 158km without human intervention.In 1995, the Carnegie Mellon University Navlab project achieved 98.2% autonomous driving on a 5000 km (3000-mile) "No hands across America" trip. This car, however, was semi-autonomous by nature: it used neural networks tocontrol the steering wheel, but throttleand brakes were human-controlled.In 1996 Alberto Broggi of the University of Parma launched the ARGO Project, which worked on enabling a modified Lancia Thema to follow the normal (painted) lane marks in an unmodified highway. The culmination of the project was ajourney of 2,000 km over six days on the motorways of northern Italydubbed MilleMiglia in Automatic , with an average speed of90 km/h.94% of the time the car was in fully automatic mode, with the longest automatic stretch being 54km. The vehicle had only two black-and-white low-cost video cameras on board, and used stereoscopic vision algorithms to understand its environment, as opposed to the "laser, radar -whatever you need" approach taken by other effortsin the field.Three US Government funded military efforts known as Demo I (US Army), Demo II(DARPA), and Demo III (US Army), are currently underway. Demo III (2001) demonstrated the ability of unmarried ground vehicles to navigate miles of difficult off-roadterrain,avoiding obstacles such as rocks and trees. James Albus at NIST provided the Real-Time Control System which is a hierarchical control system. Not only were individual vehicles controlled (e.g. throttle, steering, and brake), but groups of vehicles had their movements automatically coordinated in response to high level goals.In 2010 VisLab ran VIAC,the VisLab Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge, a13,000 km test run of autonomous vehicles. Four driverless electric vans successfully ended the drive from Italy to China, arriving at the Shanghai Expo on 28 October, 2010. It was the first intercontinental trip ever withautonomous vehicles.
ThesystemcombinesinformationgatheredfromGoogleStreetViewwithartificialintelligence software that combines input fromvideo cameras inside the car, a LIDAR sensor ontop of the vehicle, radar sensors on the front of the vehicle and a position sensor attached to one of the rear wheels that helps locate the car's position on the map.
Radar is an object-detection system which uses electromagnetic wavesspecifically radio wavesto determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of both moving and fixed objects such as aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weathe