Cars are one of the most common types of transportation that made for traveling on roads is now getting more advanced. Some of them now have an auto pilot feature makes them called a self-driving car.
Cars are one of the most common types of transportation. A car is vehicle made for traveling on roads, and it designed to carry or transport passengers or goods, or both. The origin or first idea of the idea of a car is due to the discovery of a French scientist named Nicolas J. Cugnot in 1769. At that time, he invented a vehicle that was quite large, had 3 wheels, and was powered by a steam engine. Back then, the steam engine was the most popular and modern type of engine, and the gasoline engine was still in its development. The vehicle created by Nicolas J. Cugnot at that time, was only used to transport cannons during the war.
In 1886, the car as we know it today was first invented by Karl Benz, and was the result of the development of the gasoline engine. Nowadays, various types and shapes of cars have been made to suit different needs and preferences such as cars that designed for comfort, luxury, to take on difficult roads, and even high-speed cars. The engines used also vary, not only engines with gasoline fuel, but there are electric cars with batteries, one of them is Tesla, which has been quite talked about lately. Various technologies are also widely used in cars nowadays, such as cameras, GPS, and AI.
Some advanced cars now have an auto pilot feature. Cars with auto pilot features are often referred to as self-driving cars or autonomous cars. The goal of the invention of self-driving cars is to achieve full automation in various driving scenarios, such as highways, suburban roads, and city streets, with the aim of improving safety, efficiency, and accessibility. Some models also have an auto parking feature. As we know, parking a car is not easy, parallel parking is also difficult for some people especially those who just started driving.
To enable them to operate without human input or supervision, self-driving cars are usually equipped with various sensors, cameras, and software to gather information about their surroundings and make driving decisions. Common sensors found in self-driving cars include:
GPS (Global Positioning System) is a satellite navigation system that offers accurate location and time information regardless of weather conditions anywhere on the Earth surface or nearby it. It is utilized to prove the vehicle's location and navigation information, which is combined with maps and other related data to calculate the best route.
Multiple cameras is mounted around the car and used to captures images and video to detect lane markings, traffic signals, road signs, and other objects.
· LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)
LIDAR is a remote sensing technology. It uses laser light to measure distances and create high-resolution maps of objects and surrounding area or environments by emitting a pulsed laser beam and calculate the time it takes for the reflected light to bounce back after striking an object. The system can also create a 3-Dimensional (3D) map of the environment by repeating this process multiple times to different directions. It utilized to gather detailed information about environment, and used to create precise and current maps, also to detect and avoid obstacles.
Radar is an electronic system used that works to detect and locate objects by emitting radio waves and detecting the reflected signals. It can determine the distance of an object by calculating the time delay of the reflected signal. Radar is utilized for obstacle detection. Radar can also work even in difficult weather conditions such as fog or heavy rain.
· Ultrasonic sensors
It functions is the same as radar, the difference is that it uses high frequency sound waves. It also providing additional information to the autopilot system.
The combination of these sensors will provide a comprehensive view of surrounding area of the vehicles in a 360-degree radius, which will allow the auto pilot or the self-driving system informed driving decisions and navigate safely. Some family cars with auto pilot features on the market are Tesla Model 3, Mercedes-Benz S Class, BMW iX, Nissan Rogue, Lexus LS 500h, Infiniti QX50, Audi Q3, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Volvo XC40 Recharge.
The safety of self-driving cars is still an issue of ongoing research and development, and the technology is still evolving. There have been several traffic accidents involving these self-driving cars, which has raised concerns about their safety. These incidents are caused by various factors, such as software malfunctions, misperceptions of the environment, and human error. The technology offered by self-driving cars is good and has the potential to improve road safety by reducing driver negligence. However, keep in mind that the self-driving cars technology is not perfect and is still under development, it is important to constantly be tested and thoroughly evaluated before it is widely adopted. So, be wise in driving by always focus on the road and not giving 100% control to the car.