Entertain the thought. It is time to go home and you order a car to the office, get in and settle into your seat. Once you arrive, you get out and the car drives away – no garage needed and you do not need to think about finding a parking space.
Driverless cars allow transportation and cities to be planned ina completely new and revolutionary way, since technology is infinitely better at driving cars than humans are. Science fiction? No, probably not. This debate has evolved from discussing whether we will have autonomous cars to when they will become a reality.
An autonomous car is controlled by an automatic driving system that does not need a physical driver. Most auto manufacturers are currently working intensely on projects in this field, and even companies like Google and Apple are in the race. “We are heading towards an era when autonomous cars will be the new norm,” says Kristian Palm, Head of Business Unit at Cybercom, who is involved in the development of the new technology.
An example of a key role for Cybercom is as integration and software development partner in the SCOOP@F project. This project was initiated by the French government and the EU in partnership with auto manufacturers Renault and Peugeot. In the years to come, a vast number of new cars will be equipped with Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). ITS is based on wireless technology that enables cars to communicate with one another via Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) and with overhead traffic systems through Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I).
The systems are key pieces of the puzzle in a world of autonomous cars, as they can take into account the events around them on the roads and process the trajectory, speed and intentions of other vehicles. “They obtain information on everything from accidents ahead, slippery road conditions and parked cars to the speed of other vehicles and pedestrians, all while processing this information exponentially faster than human drivers,” says Kristian. Initially, the V2X systems (Vehicle to everything) will primarily be used for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), prior to being developed into fully autonomous driving. This means, for example, that drivers could be assisted with braking before they manage to react to external factors, thus avoiding collisions.
Cybercom possesses extensive experience in software development and products for mass-produced vehicles, not least in the form of more than 30 million installations of the BlueGo application framework, Cybercom’s proprietary Bluetooth software for advanced vehicle infotainment systems.
This type of service will become more relevant once drivers no longer need to focus their attention on driving the car. Cybercom is also pursuing the new, proprietarily developed communication software product, OsCar, which, like SCOOP@F, is being integrated into cars in order to enable communication with other cars, infrastructure and other factors in the vehicle’s surroundings.
Advantages of autonomous cars
Autonomous cars require less street surface, and traffic lights and signs become superfluous as the cars are communicating with one another and an incorporated, overhead framework.
When traffic flows efficiently, without congestion and jams, energy consumption will decline dramatically.
Asphalt parking lots can become residential areas and verdant parklands once parking no longer becomes necessary in proximity to the destinations.
Nine of ten accidents are caused by humans, so traffic accidents will essentially be eliminated.