Volvo Car Group has completed a research project using magnets in the roadway to help the car determine its position.
The research, which has been financed in strategic co-operation with the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket), is a potential key to the implementation of self-driving vehicles.
Reliable and highly accurate positioning is one of the crucial issues in the development of self-driving cars.
While established positioning technologies such as GPS and cameras have limitations in certain conditions, road-integrated magnets remain unaffected by physical obstacles and poor weather conditions.
“The magnets create an invisible ‘railway’ that literally paves the way for a positioning inaccuracy of less than one decimetre. We have tested the technology at a variety of speeds and the results so far are promising,” says Jonas Ekmark, Preventive Safety Leader at Volvo Car Group.
Volvo Cars plays a leading role in a large-scale autonomous driving pilot project in which 100 self-driving Volvo cars will use public roads in everyday driving conditions around the Swedish city of Gothenburg.
“Our aim is for the car to be able to handle the driving all by itself. Accurate, reliable positioning is a necessary prerequisite for a self-driving car,” explains Jonas Ekmark. He adds: “It is fully possible to implement autonomous vehicles without changes to the present infrastructure. However, this technology adds interesting possibilities, such as complementing road markings with magnets.”
Helps prevent run-off road accidents
In parallel with the potential in the field of autonomous driving, road-integrated magnets open up a number of other possibilities:
- Incorporating magnet-based positioning in preventive safety systems could help prevent run-off road accidents.
- Magnets could facilitate accuracy of winter road maintenance, which in turn could prevent damage to snow-covered objects, such as barriers and signs, near the road edge.
- There is also a possibility of more efficient utilisation of road space since accurate positioning could allow lanes to be narrower.
Accurate, reliable and cost-effective
Volvo Cars’ research team created a 100-metre long test track at the company’s testing facilities in Hällered outside Gothenburg, Sweden. A pattern of round ferrite magnets (40×15 mm) was located 200 mm below the road surface. The car was equipped with several magnetic field sensors.
The research programme was designed to evaluate crucial issues, such as detection range, reliability, durability, cost and the impact on road maintenance.
“Our experience so far is that ferrite magnets are an efficient, reliable and relatively cheap solution, both when it comes to the infrastructure and on-board sensor technology. The next step is to conduct tests in real-life traffic,” explains Jonas Ekmark.
The Latest on: Self-driving cars
via Google News
The Latest on: Self-driving cars
- Mind Tricks: How Digital Nudging By In-Car AI Will Shape Where Your Self-Driving Car Takes Youon December 5, 2019 at 8:29 am
Here’s an interesting question: With true self-driving cars, will you always be taken to whatever destination you’ve indicated, or might the AI system attempt to digitally nudge you to go to a ...
- Western, Chinese consumers divided on electric, self-driving cars: surveyon December 5, 2019 at 3:13 am
Automakers, ride-hailing and technology companies plowing money into the development of electric, self-driving and shared car services will find more enthusiastic consumers in China than in Europe and ...
- Alibaba-financed AutoX wants to test self-driving cars without humanson December 4, 2019 at 12:13 pm
According to the report, there are 60 companies that test self-driving cars in California with backup drivers. It's not clear if any other units are currently in the process of applying for and ...
- Hyundai Motor tees up flying cars, electric vehicles with $52 billion investmenton December 4, 2019 at 10:09 am
For automakers, it's somewhat of an arms race; the world has become a battle of bringing advanced technology to market first as self-driving cars, electric vehicles and even flying cars flirt with, or ...
- Teaching Self-Driving Cars to Watch for Unpredictable Humanson December 3, 2019 at 11:00 pm
If you happen to live in one of the cities where companies are testing self-driving cars, you’ve probably noticed that your new robot overlords can be occasional nervous drivers. In Arizona, where ...
- Mobileye maps 28K miles of roads a day to prep for autonomous carson December 3, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Google isn’t the only company with a fleet of vehicles mapping public roads. Mobileye — the Intel-owned developer of cameras and imaging software for self-driving cars and driver-assist systems — has ...
- Advocates rally on Capitol Hill for self-driving car legislationon December 3, 2019 at 2:48 pm
The push comes as lawmakers are circulating draft legislation on self-driving cars among stakeholders after long delays but with no bills formally introduced in Congress. The advocates, brought ...
- Making The Case For High-Performance AI Driving Skills In A Self-Driving Caron December 3, 2019 at 7:24 am
It seems like an unsolvable problem. Wait a second, what about the advent of driverless cars? Here’s a worthwhile question: Would we be wise to ensure that true self-driving cars have high-performance ...
- Mercedes-Benz wants to know what you expect from a ride in a self-driving caron December 3, 2019 at 6:01 am
Additional information like where testing is being carried out remains under wraps. The source stressed the main point of the pilot program is to gather information about what customers want in an ...
- Uber is exploring ways to make its self-driving cars also be self-cleaningon December 2, 2019 at 8:04 pm
New patent filings reveal the ride-hailing giant's interest in robotic vacuums and AI-powered lost-and-found detection.
via Bing News