What is Swarm Intelligence in Automated Driving?

swarm intelligence in automated driving

How does swarm intelligence in automated driving work?

We hear a lot of news about automated driving, and it’s now real. We can see Waymo cars plying on the road autonomously in certain cities. So, it’s no more a scene from a science fiction film. It has become real, and it will be a more integral part of our lives very soon. So, what’s about Swarm Intelligence in automated driving? We will explain what it is and relate it to autonomous driving.

Intelligent Driving
Intelligent Driving

Have you seen ants in an ant colony? Have you observed the working of ants inside the ant colony? They work collectively, exchanging data of the real world with each other. Even they carry their prey to the ant colony in the same manner. The swarm intelligence is nothing but the same thing.

Furthermore, the concept of swarm intelligence comes from nature. In terms of cars, it’s a collective effort to learn the surroundings and alert each other autonomously for driving swift and safe. So, instead of learning individually, the collaborative efforts make more sense.

In addition, it is a slow process to learn individually. While learning collectively is way much faster in the case of driving. The real-world scenarios change very fast, and it’s essential to keep an eye on the changing road conditions. The collective efforts of cars may solve this problem in autonomous driving.

The working of swarm intelligence

This technology looks simple, but implementing it on a large scale is a challenge. Currently, Bosch and VW are working in this field. For easy understanding, we will explain swarm intelligence in automated driving technology, currently researched by Bosch.

First of all, for highly autonomous driving vehicle needs accurate data and a map of its surroundings. The highly accurate digital maps provide precise information about the vehicle’s location on the map. The Bosch road signature offers precisely the same. It is a cloud-based service by Bosch.

The Bosch road signature harvests real-world data from radar and video sensors. It also gathers the vehicle motion data. Then it augments an additional layer of localization and control on our standard navigation maps. This layer provides more information to autonomous cars, increasing their accuracy and decision-making power.

The cloud

So, swarm intelligence in automated driving works like this. First, the vehicle fleet generates information about landmarks, road closures, road conditions, road signs, curbs, etc. The vehicle fleet then sends its data to the fleet manufacturer cloud. Then the manufacturer cloud sends data to Bosch cloud anonymously.

Furthermore, the Bosch cloud sends only the required information to create an additional map layer. The Bosch cloud then uses this information to create a road signature. So, it’s like a digital twin in the actual surroundings.

Thus, vehicles can determine their position with a high degree of accuracy in real-time. The vehicle compares the data provided by its sensors with its digital twin. As a result, the vehicles can accurately determine their position on the map. The use of radar increases the reliability of the data in bad weather such as fog, heavy rains, and snow. Such weather makes it difficult for cameras to perceive their surroundings accurately.

Swarm Intelligence in automated driving: Natural driving behavior

The road signature-like database provides more detailed information about surroundings. It includes road geometry, lane layouts, speed limits, and road signature. The database also contains the typical driving characters in specific locations. The information like how human drivers approach the curve? How do they behave at intersections? When and how they change lanes while taking the turn. All this information makes autonomous driving more intelligent, reliable, and natural.

Advantages of Swarm Intelligence

The most crucial advantage of swarm intelligence is highly reliable real-world data in real-time. The continuous flow of data keeps the map layers up to date all the time. The comparison of current sensor data and stored data increases localization accuracy. The use of this technology will increase the reliability of autonomous driving.

In conclusion, swarm intelligence in automated driving will surely increase the reliability of autonomous driving. Soon, we will see autonomous car driving as humans do.

Image Courtesy: Audi

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Sushant is an entrepreneur, marketing consultant, and an auto-enthusiastic blogger. He regularly publishes specific articles on the latest happenings in automotive technology. When not writing a blog, he engages in his other ventures or goes on long-distance motorcycle rides. Follow me on Twitter.