Volvo promise new self-driving system by 2021
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Volvo has promised to develop the next generation of self-driving vehicles by 2021.
The company announced that it has struck a deal with NVIDIA, an artificial intelligence specialist which already builds self-driving systems for Tesla and Audi.
Volvo's self-driving fleet will use artificial intelligence to recognise objects around vehicles, anticipate threats and navigate safely, it was announced today.
Nvidia and Volvo will team up with a number of other experts to develop a new line of autonomous cars by the start of the next decade.
The companies' new venture, called Zenuity, will provide Volvo Cars with self-driving software which will also be sold to other carmakers.
Volvo said the next generation of self-driving vehicles will use NVIDIA's Drive PX AI module, an autonomous system used by Tesla, Audi and Toyota.
The system uses data from cameras and radar inputs, then compares this information to a high-definition map to find a safe course for the vehicle.
The companies hope new safety measures will allow the cars to pass crash test safety tests in Europe and the US.
NVIDIA also announced it will be working with ZF and Hella, German part supplies which will provide specialised cameras, sensors and steering technology.
And Volvo and NVIDIA are teaming up for a driverless car pilot scheme called 'Drive Me', announced earlier this year.
'Our vision is that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by the year 2020,' said Marcus Rothoff, director of the Autonomous Driving Programme at Volvo Cars.
'NVIDIA's high-performance and responsive automotive platform is an important step towards our vision and perfect for our autonomous drive program and the Drive Me project.'
Volvo's Drive Me autonomous pilot programme will ask drivers in Gothenburg, Sweden, to try out Volvo’s XC90 cars equipped with latest driverless technology.
'Volvo's Drive Me project is the ideal application of our DRIVE PX 2 engine and deep learning,' said Rob Csongor, vice president of Automotive at NVIDIA.
'We are bringing years of work by thousands of NVIDIA engineers to help Volvo achieve its safety goals and move self-driving cars from Gothenburg to the rest of the globe.'
Volvo announced it hopes to release cars equipped with self-driving technology for by 2021.
It is not yet known if the vehicles will be released worldwide.
How do autonomous cars work?
Volvo's self-driving cars rely on 28 cameras, sensors and lasers as well as software rules to drive itself on busy roads.
Like other autonomous systems, the system needs a user to select a chosen route so it can use a cloud-based digital map to guide the car's driving, giving it an awareness of known obstacles and features on the road.
Sensors: Volvo's Drive Me car is fitted with multiple radars, cameras and laser sensors to plot its exact positioning on the road and give the system a 360° view of the car’s surroundings.
A network of computers processes the information, which together with GPS, generates a real-time map of moving and stationary objects in the environment.
Twelve ultrasonic sensors around the car are used to identify objects close to the vehicle and support autonomous drive at low speeds.
Radars: A wave radar and camera placed on the windscreen reads traffic signs and the road’s curvature and can detect objects on the road such as other road users.
Four radars behind the front and rear bumpers also locate objects.
Two long-range radars on the bumper are used to detect fast-moving vehicles approaching from far behind, which is useful on motorways.
Cameras: Four cameras - two on the wing mirrors, one on the grille and one on the rear bumper - monitor objects in close proximity to the vehicle and lane markings.
A trifocal camera on the windscreen provides a broad 140° view, a 45° view and a long-range, yet narrow, 34° view for improved depth perception and distant-object detection. It’s used to spot suddenly appearing pedestrians and unexpected road hazards.
3D digital map: An HD 3D digital map is used to provide the vehicle with information about the surroundings, such as road curvature, number of lanes, geometry of tunnels and signs etc.
‘High performance GPS’ is matched with the map and the 360° image created by the multitude of sensors, to give the car information about its position in relation to the surroundings.
This means the Drive Me car is able to choose the best course in real time, factoring in variables such as the curvature of the road, speed limit, temporary signs and other traffic.