June 14, 2016
These safety concerns need to be addressed before driverless cars hit the road. It is expected that by 2020, thousands of Americans will be purchasing autonomous vehicles. Some of the main safety concerns relate to inclement weather confusing sensors and radar, as well as obstructing camera vision. Savari, a company focused on implementing automotive safety through technology, showcased its V2X (vehicle-to-everything) safety communications solutions at TU-Automotive Detroit in early June. As a company that supports autonomous driving, it is preparing advanced technology to address many safety concerns that have been associated with self-driving cars. The technology that most prototype driverless cars are currently operating on are systems that depend upon lidar, radar, and cameras. Lidar is a relatively new technology that creates a digital map of surroundings as the car moves. It also compares the maps to existing maps and will alert the system to any differences that it detects. The cameras use a line of vision in order to detect lanes and provide back-up assistance, as well as compute traffic lights and signs as well as other objects. Radar detects the speed and ranges of other vehicles. Savari has developed software that upstages this technology. There are two areas where it really sets itself apart from all of the others. Unlike using a camera, V2X software does not depend on line of sight to operate the vehicle. This provides an increased level of driving accuracy no matter what hazardous weather conditions there may be. Another area where V2X software excels, is it allows vehicles to communicate with other vehicles (V2V), it allows important safety and operational data to be communicated between the vehicle to the infrastructure (V2I) and it can also communicate to pedestrians through smartphones (V2P) up to a mile away. On top of all of this, V2X is also compliant with all major national and international communication standards, including up-to-date U.S. (WAVE) and European (ETSI) standards. The demos in Detroit simulated real-life driving situations and showcased how utilizing Savari's software can make the idea of autonomous driving safer and more efficient than that of human drivers. This new and developing technology will be a major contribution to automotive safety.