Researchers have developed a radar navigation technique that enables autonomous vehicles to drive through almost every weather condition.
Autonomous vehicles have proved their reliability when it comes to driving through traffic and preventing undesired events on highways. But these results are yet limited to certain terrain and environment. Present technologies use optic sensors like camera and laser for a clear view of its surroundings, for maintaining the lane, and detecting nearby vehicles and obstacles. But they are not so precise when the weather conditions are unfavorable.
researchers at Örebro University have successfully improved the precision in radar sensors for navigation to such a degree that the sensors can be used in autonomous cars, making them safe for driving whatever the weather. The advantage with radar is that it works in all weather conditions and can ‘see’ through smoke and dust.
With this new method, an autonomous car that has traveled 100 meters, is able to determine where it has traveled with a precision of 1 meter. That is an improvement of the radar sensors’ positioning system by 1 meter. Reducing the error margin from 2% to 1% is a huge step forward. The method is both very quick and precise, which is just the ticket if autonomous robots are to interact safely with humans and other robots.
Using radar sensors enable autonomous vehicles and even robots to create their own maps which is an essential piece of the puzzle to create reliable robots that are perceptive of their surroundings. These maps also play an important role for robots’ ability to communicate with one another.
Researcher Daniel Adolfsson says that they aim to create maps that these robots can understand and position themselves in, only by using radar sensors. “Ultimately, there will be some errors. The important thing is that we create robust systems that can detect and correct them when they do happen,” added Adolfsson.