Google Car in the making:
The people around the world are gradually getting accustomed to spotting driver-less cars being tested which are retrofits of existing vehicle models. However, Google surprised not only the masses but also the whole automobile industry. It unveiled an archetype of an autonomous self-driving electric car manufactured by the company and its partners. This ‘smiley’ faced Google Car manifests several state-of-the-art technological advances which the world has not explored so far. Let us have a look into some of the details of this masterpiece.
The very first thing you will notice about this car is the overhead module which comprises a radar-like unit and cameras. The Google’s Car identifies its surrounding with the help of this unit. Technically speaking, the radar-like system in the overhead unit continuously takes 3D images of the surroundings and then blends them with the high-resolution maps already stored in the car. This real-time data enables the programmed control modules in the car to take the appropriate driving decisions.
The range of the radar system mounted on the Google Car extends to two football fields in all directions and so it is very unlikely that it will miss even a minute detail. But because of the 3D imaging, the data generated by this vehicle reaches a mark of 1GB per second. The picture shown below depicts how the Google Car sees the world:
Internally, the car has only with two seats having seat belts, a small luggage compartment and a center console having Start & Stop buttons. You would be amazed to know that it has NO steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal in the passenger compartment. This is so because of the fact that the occupants would not be giving any steering input to the vehicle. The only thing the passenger would have to do is to press the START button and then enjoy the ride!
This car takes all the driving decisions on its own. These include reducing the speed over the turns, braking during the events of sudden interventions by other cars or people and much more. The ‘STOP’ button is for an emergency. At present, the car has a limited speed of 25 miles per hour (40 km/hr approx.) as it is still in the testing phase. Later, Google may increase the speed to 100 miles per hour (160 km/hr approx.).
Safety is the priority in Google car:
According to Google, the Google Car would be leaps ahead of other vehicles on road today in terms of safety. This is because there is no chance for human error which results in minimizing the chances of accidents. Google accoutered the car with so many numbers of sensors and cameras as well. So, this vehicle is much better in terms of getting the perception of surroundings than the ordinary driver. In addition, this car would be useful for transporting the people who are unable to drive and also children.
However, there are a few concerns about this technology. First of all, because the computers controlling the Google Car entirely, it runs the risk of hacking by hackers. This will be fatal as the hacker can completely take over the control of the vehicle. Also, it requires sophisticated and highly advanced IT related infrastructures such as the servers and the navigation tools. So, we anticipate that these cars will be very costly.
Inspite of these concerns, one thing is for clear that Google is certainly revolutionizing the way we think about the future transportation!
Please click for the video of Google Car on test here.
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