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Advances Autonomous Driving V2X Technologies
Advances Autonomous Driving V2X Technologies
This paper looks at the state of development of V2X and provides a perspective on this and other technologies required to make autonomous driving a reality.
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Authored By:
Dwight Howard
Delphi Automotive Systems IDI/NA Division
Kokomo, IN, USA

Automotive electronics has seen rapid evolution over the past several decades. Today's efforts are pushing toward what might be the ultimate safety and efficiency solution: autonomous driving. Many players across academia, government, and the private sector, have development underway. Significant work must be completed in a variety of areas. There is one key capability that is close to deployment into the market: Vehicle-to-Vehicle/Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (or V2X) technology. This paper provides a high-level look at the state of development of V2X and provides a perspective on this and other technologies required to make autonomous driving a reality.

Autonomous driving is progressing rapidly. Many OEMs have aggressive programs underway. The race to develop autonomous driving capability has expanded beyond traditional automotive producers. Academia, component suppliers, and government have played significant roles in the broader effort to bring autonomous driving into reality.

Significant accomplishments have been made. Millions of miles of autonomous driving have been logged on test courses and roadways. The vehicle highlighted above is credited with tremendous milestones. This platform was among the first to make an autonomous drive between major cities (San Francisco to Las Vegas for 2015 CES). It was reported as being the only vehicle that was allowed to operate on the city streets for demonstration during the 2015 CES. It was the first to make the historic autonomous drive across the United States. This highly reported experimental ride was conducted in the Spring of 2015 and ran from San Francisco to New York City. With the progress and practical testing, autonomous driving is breaking out of the laboratory and onto the streets.

Sensor technologies are showing great promise. In many cases these are based on, long established production solutions that have been available in the market. Critical refinements in radar and Lidar sensor technologies are progressing very well. Compact form factors, and total surround coverage have presented slight challenges to the integration of these elements into producible autonomous driving vehicles. The challenge of mounting the larger number of number of additional sensors must be overcome but OEMs that have used these sensor technologies in production vehicles are well positioned to solve these problems.

The area of greatest challenge remains to be human-like cognitive thinking. Development is revealing the limitations of current cognitive algorithms and adaptive learning. The most difficult areas tend to be where safety protocols drive decision behaviors that far below acceptance of normal driving under human operation. For example, at a construction zone, if caught in a restricted or closed lane, an autonomous vehicle may wait for all traffic to clear an adjacent open lane versus nudging into it.

Challenges in area of imaging are evident. Obscured or virtually obliterated lane markings may create difficulty in lane awareness and tracking. Improvements in imaging technology are helping but more reliance on GPS and V2X technologies will be vital.

V2X technology must progress quickly. OEM roadmaps have these capabilities rolling out on fairly short timelines. One OEM is expected to have the first production V2X capability in the MY2017 time frame. Reliance on V2X as a vital requirement autonomous driving necessitate ubiquitous deployment across many OEMs. Likewise, infrastructure must be in place for V2I to provide full capability. Infrastructure systems must also be common to work with all vehicle platforms.

Some predictions suggest autonomous driving will be rolling out by 2020. More conservative projections predict roll-out within the next decade. This is a wide range in outlook. Timelines can change in accordance to progress. As this technology evolves, unthinkable events, injuries or deaths, may slow development, but it will most certainly become reality. Heavier-than-air flight was not a certainty in its infancy but it became a reality despite countless setbacks. The same may play out for autonomous driving.

Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings

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