Autonomous Vehicles – Where Do We Stand?

It is now and happening. Fully autonomous cars will soon be out of the garage. Many companies are striking a deal with Aurora Innovations; a venture co-founded by Chris Urmson and will soon introduce Autonomous vehicles to the market. Urmson says “The planned autonomous vehicles will include fully self-driving pods, shuttles or delivery vans and self-driving trucks without a cabin”. Aurora has signed deals with both Volkswagen and Hyundai and will soon launch autonomous vehicle in about three years.


Volkswagen and Hyundai are to bring out more than 15 million vehicles every year and are planning to integrate Aurora’s software and sensors which is an artificial intelligence technology. This will change the way we look at transportation.


How does the technology work?

Toyota has installed a technology called LIDAR which uses lasers to determine its surroundings. Just like the principle of a bat or sonar, the lasers shoot out, hit the objects around and bounce back to the sensors to determine the surrounding. The technology works by combining software and sensors to control, navigate, and drive the vehicle. Based on these, the vehicle creates an internal map of the surroundings and the software process these inputs and decides on a path and sends information to the actuators which control the steering, acceleration, and braking.

What renders a feeling of safety is that it uses hardcore codes, predictive modeling, and can know the difference between a truck and motorcycle. These help the vehicle to follow traffic and navigate through obstacles. Humans are great drivers, but on the contrary, machines are better at following rules.


Where we are now?

Companies like Mercedes, BMW, and Tesla already have several autonomous vehicles with self-driving features. Google has a self-driving car project called Waymo that hit the streets in 2009 and claims to make driving less stressful and roadways safer. Car making giants Volkswagen and Hyundai say their self-driven cars will be out on roads by 2021. Volkswagen Chief Digital Officer Johann Jungwirth says that it is part of “the reinvention of mobility and the automobile.”

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Volkswagen said that it would be associating with Silicon Valley Company Aurora to create self-driven cars and hopes to launch a fleet of cabs in the streets by 2021. “With Aurora, VW gains access to an experienced and globally leading development team in software and hardware for driverless vehicles,” the Wolfsburg-based group said in a statement.


What do they mean to the future of transportation?

Soon our roads will be swarming with vehicles that don’t have a driver to maneuver it. It is estimated that by 2020 almost 10 million cars will be on the road. While looking out for any pedestrians or obstacles, these autonomous vehicles can detect road signs, follow traffic signals and keep track of other vehicles with the use of video cameras. We can imagine people and goods being traveled around without a driver. You choose the destination and sit back and relax and even drink a cup of coffee while you are on the run. Trucks will be delivering goods to the destination in no time as the driver needn’t take rest in between. But a negative impact of this is that many drivers will lose their jobs. Although at present the trucks are not fully automated but have facilities similar to an autopilot function in an airplane.


Dubai has recently tried out an air drone in collaboration with Volocopter. The mission is to call an air taxi just like you would book a ride in Uber. Amazon is been given a patent to try out drones that can deliver in 30 minutes and even recharge itself by connecting to an electric car.


Autonomous Vehicles are the future of automotive industry. Even though we have seen a vivid image of them in movies, in reality, we are far behind. But we are we on the right track. Keep in touch with us to the latest updates that are happening in the autonomous vehicle industry.


Driverless Cars – Which Companies Are in the Forefront

Driverless cars are soon to be the future of transportation. If you don’t believe it, such cars are already in the garage and almost ready to hit the roads. Soon you will be giving instructions as to where your destination is and these autonomous cars will take you to the place you want to go. There are many companies that are into testing and developing driverless cars. Imagine a future where you don’t have to drive to your destination but just sit in the vehicle and get automatically transported through the traffic.


The new technology is impressive and will revolutionize with the concept of a car that doesn’t have a driver, steering or pedals. The question is will people feel safe in a car that doesn’t have a driver to control it. A level 5 autonomous car is expected to be safe and fully automatic. Let me go through the companies that are currently into cars that will shape the future of transportation.

  • Nissan

Nissan has partnered with NASA to build Infiniti Q50 that can drive unaided through the roads. The CEO Carlos Ghosn said that the firm will make a vehicle with autonomous vehicle systems. Nissan hopes to enter their cars on the road by 2020. But unfortunately the car is available only in Japan.

  • General Motors

US based General Motors have initiated driverless cars by testing its partially self driving car technology by partnering with Cadillac.

It has entered the rapidly transforming automotive industry by hands free technology and semi autonomous features where the driver can take their hands off the wheel by staying in a lane.

  • Apple

Apple confirmed that it is into the development of self driving car system. However they haven’t confirmed whether it is car they are developing or its supporting software or both. Apple’s driverless car system will detect pedestrians and cyclists. “We’re focusing on autonomous systems and clearly one purpose of autonomous systems is self-driving cars, but there are others,” said Tim Cook the CEO of Apple.

  • Audi

Delphi a car parts supplier had equipped an Audi SQ5 with autonomous driving tools and rode 3500 miles from San Fransisco to New York. This is a considerable achievement in the world of driverless cars. Also, Audi will be using Nvidia technology to bring driverless cars on roads by 2020.

  • Nvidia

Those who are familiar with gaming knows the global chipmaker Nvidia. Now they have clubbed with Volkswagon and Uber to create self driving cars. Nvidia’s Drive IX SDK will be used to instil AI features and also language processing and gesture control. More than 300 companies are associated with Nvidia to create driverless cars, according to Reuters.

  • Volvo

Volvo is making progress in the field of self driving passenger vehicles. The company is planning to give 100 Swedish customers early access to its self driving vehicles.

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The XC90 is an SUV that is labelled as ‘Intellisafe’ with a promise to avoid all kinds of accidents. While the vehicle is in autonomous mode the company accepts all liabilities related to the vehicle.

  • Tesla

Even though Elon Musk CEO of Tesla said they are to introduce driverless cars on this year it is unlikely that it will happen. We will have to wait and see if the commitment will be released this year. Tesla’s car is said to be equipped with 8 cameras that provide a 360 degree vision that will have a range of 250 meters. Besides this there are 12 ultrasonic sensors to complement it.

  • Baidu

You must be familiar with the Chinese company Baidu who has associated with BMW to released a prototype that is semi-autonomous in 2015. They have already tested the vehicle their technology on the highways in China. But the news is that they have parted in 2016 after a disagreement in strategy. Baidu has opened a research lab in Silicon Valley for artificial intelligence but the chief scientist has departed from the company in early 2017. Baidu is to release its self-driving vehicle platform Apollo. This includes vehicle hardware, software and cloud data platforms.

  • Bosch

As you know one of the world’s largest automotive parts Bosch has assigned more than 2000 engineers to the driver assistance system. Partnering with GPS maker Tom Tom the company is mapping data required for this purpose. They have made a commitment to make self driving cars a reality by 2020 at least in the highways. Bosch is also partnering with Mercedes and Tesla to realize self driven cars.

  • nuTonomy

nuTonomy is a start up company created by a group of graduates from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They do provide algorithms and software for self driving cars. It has applied its sensors to Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car prototype and has chosen Singapore as its test location. Its algorithms can direct a car around urban roads by GPS mapping the streets and using localization from the LiDAR sensors.

  • Ford

Ford is developing an entertaining system for self driven cars that they have named ‘Autonomous Vehicle Entertainment System’. It acts as a cinema screen that makes use of a projector to cover the front end of the car. Also Ford has been pushing its limits by testing their driverless cars on snow covered roads unlike other manufacturers of self driven cars.

  • Honda

Honda has conceived a partnership with Waymo on self driven cars. Honda is likely to supply automobiles for Waymo’s test fleet. They have an autonomous vehicles testing permit in California, but only tested on closed courses in 2016, Navigant wrote in its report. Honda has taken a conventional approach to self-driving cars and has testing permit in California.

  • PSA

Driving itself from Paris to Bordeaux four of PSA’s cars have displayed their capability back in 2015. ZF the autopilot parts manufacturer will supply them with software, radar and cameras that will assist the vehicle with governing self driving. PSA is one of the largest car manufacturers in Europe and is planning to have fully driverless cars on the road by 2020.

  • Hyundai

Hyundai had displayed its Ioniq electric car in the CES last year which is autonomous. In vehicles like Elantra Hyundai has showcased lane assist, driver assistance and other advanced features. The plans are to have a fleet of driverless features in production by the year 2020s not committing to fully autonomous systems until 2030.

  • Waymo

Formerly Google’s subsidiary of Google’s parent company and self driving vehicle project, Waymo is an autonomous driverless car development company. Waymo said that it will be testing fully self driven cars without a human in the driver’s seat. It has partnered with General Motors to produce cars without pedals and a steering wheel and is to be released by 2019. They are way ahead of Tesla in the technology and are soon to lead the driverless car market.

  • Volkswagen

Volkswagen has announced that self-driving cars will be common by the year 2025. VW Group CEO Matthias Muller said that a prototype demonstration will be available within 4 years. In the V-Charge project an e-Golf will be equipped with 3D maps, cameras and other sensors that will aid the car to park itself without a human assistance. Volkswagen claims that they will introduce self-driven cars faster that the market competition.

  • Samsung

South Korea’s transport ministry have given approval to test driverless vehicles on the public roads. Based on Hyundai’s self-driven cars that are equipped with sensors and cameras, Samsung has become a leading supplier of in-car technologies and vehicle systems. The Korean tech giant has purchased 8 billion dollars of Harman who are leading suppliers of self driving technology and vehicle systems.

Concluding Thoughts

Can you imagine a near future where you enter a car and ask the car to drop you at a destination? We’ve seen in it Total recall where Schwarzenegger talks to a bot while in a car. Soon you will be able to drive in driverless cars. So be updated on every news about driverless cars with employee transport management.