How Do Autonomous Cars Work?

And why don't we have any fully autonomous models yet?
Loukia Papadopoulos

There's no doubt about it. Self-driving cars are the future. But how do they work?

These cars depend on a comprehensive set of sensors to give the onboard computer accurate, real-time information. Just like a GPS allows the software on the onboard computer to determine its precise position in space, so do finer, more accurate sensors give the car a more complete picture of what’s going on around it.

These include odometry, radar, and LiDAR sensors that monitor the vehicle’s immediate surroundings, scanning for obstacles, such as pedestrians and other vehicles. But that's not all. Ultrasonic sensors can also be installed to scan objects very close to the vehicle.

All these precise sensors then feed all the data collected to the vehicle’s onboard computer. What does the computer do with the data? 

Well, it learns to navigate effectively without causing any accidents or harm to pedestrians. But is it really that easy? No, despite having made great advancements, we still don't have any fully autonomous cars.

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What will it take to make fully independent self-driving cars? What car companies are working on this lofty goal? Where are they at in their development? We answer all these questions and more in our video.

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