Autonomous Cars and The Internet of Things

4-3-20

Autonomous Cars

Almost all the major car manufacturing companies are working on the development of an autonomous car. There are definitions of the levels of autonomous cars created by the SAE.

Level 0 – No Automation: The full-time performance by the human driver of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even when enhanced by warning or intervention systems

Level 1 – Driver Assistance: The driving mode-specific execution by a driver assistance system of either steering or acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment and with the expectation that the human driver performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task

Level 2 – Partial Automation: The driving mode-specific execution by one or more driver assistance systems of both steering and acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment and with the expectation that the human driver performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task

Level 3 – Conditional Automation: The driving mode-specific performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task with the expectation that the human driver will respond appropriately to a request to intervene

Level 4 – High Automation: The driving mode-specific performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene

Level 5 – Full Automation: The full-time performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task under all roadway and environmental conditions that can be managed by a human driver (SAE International, 2016).

            The fully autonomous car, Level 5, is under development, with some companies already researching how their models operate on the highway. Most likely all car manufacturers will have a Level 5 car in production in the next five years.

            Currently, there are two non-manufacturing obstacles that need to be developed. One is insurance for autonomous cars. Who is to blame when an autonomous car has an accident? This is not rocket science but has not been fully worked out at the present. The other is federal regulations. The car manufacturers are moving ahead in spite of the lack of those regulations, but at some point, they will have to be created. Again, not rocket science, but the regulations will need to be worked out.

One more thing, some car manufacturers are already combining autonomous cars with electric-powered cars. This seems to make sense as more is learned about the emissions gasoline-powered cars create.

The Internet of Things

Hidden behind the curtain with little media attention is the development of The Internet of Things. RFID Sensors are being placed in almost anything manufactured that can send information to the cloud to be accessed by manufacturers, retailers, and in some cases the consumer. In manufacturing, The Internet of Things tracks the product from production to the consumer and beyond. It works especially well for keeping inventory correct and assists logistics as the product moves from place to place.

In the home, the doorbell can be equipped with a video camera that transmits its information to the cloud. A sensor connected thermostat allows the owner of the house to control the interior temperature from a cell phone. In the near future sensors the size of a grain of rice will be placed in refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers, televisions, cars, and most anything manufactured. Data collection and distribution will become a huge business in the next five years. It will happen with little fanfare and lots of money being made.

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