Autonomous Cars Hit the Road at CES
Among the many innovations featured at CES, there were a number of autonomous vehicle announcements. Toyota’s Lexus division unveiled its advanced active safety research vehicle, which includes a number of features that would enable a self-driving car—even though that isn’t Toyota’s stated goal.
Among the features in the vehicle: a 360-degree LIDAR laser to scan for other objects; high-definition color cameras that detect approaching vehicles and traffic light changes; radar systems; a distance measurement indicator to measure travel distance and speed; an inertial measurements unit; and GPS antennas.
Combined, these systems can help drivers avoid crashes, and minimize severity when they do have an accident. Toyota has also launched an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) proving ground to test vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside communications systems.
Audi, meanwhile, exhibited a self-driving car at CES. The Audi A7 sedan performed in two demos: handling a traffic jam, and negotiating a parking garage. Audi has developed its own version of LIDAR that can be mounted in the vehicle’s grille. (Currently, Toyota and Google both use rather goofy looking devices mounted on the roof of the vehicle.)
In Audi’s demonstration, the company used a smartphone app to signal the car to drive itself from the garage to the front of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Las Vegas, and then parallel park. However, the Audi system requires a laser grid map of the structure transmitted via sensors and a Wi-Fi connection for this tricky navigation to work.
You can watch the Audi in action below:
Source: New York Times