AI News, Will Self-Driving Cars Get Nevada Certification In Time for CES Las Vegas?

Will Self-Driving Cars Get Nevada Certification In Time for CES Las Vegas?

In an application filed with Nevada regulators, Cynthia Albert of Daimler North America wrote, “Daimler is interested in obtaining license permits to operate two autonomous vehicles in the coming months and to showcase and demonstrate the vehicles at next year’s CES in Las Vegas.” Daimler told the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that its autonomous E-class cars are equipped with GPS, front and rear radar sensors, and front stereo video cameras.

Each has completed roughly 16,000 kilometers of fully autonomous driving: 4800 km on public city streets, 3200 km on highways, and 8000 km in simulated city and highway tests on closed roads.

In September, Michael Deuterman, a senior Hyundai engineer, asked the DMV, “Will you let us know the locations to be used for each category [of test drive] so we can be sure that maps are available for the areas selected to be driven in 100% autonomous mode?” Hyundai’s cars each have three lidar units mounted on the front grille (rather than above the car as Google’s robocars do), assisted by front and rear radars and cameras, and side-facing ultrasonic sensors.

This suite of sensors makes several different autonomous features possible, including a fully autonomous driving mode, a less intrusive traffic jam assist mode for highway driving, or a slightly gimmicky ‘narrow path assist’ mode to help nervous drivers squeeze down alleys.

But Hurin noted in an e-mail to Hyundai that applications “on average… take about 60 days.” Unless Nevada accelerates the process, neither company is likely to take delivery of its special autonomous vehicle license plates in time to offer demonstration rides at CES, which starts on 6 January.

Taking Hyundai’s Ioniq autonomous car for a Las Vegas test drive

The Las Vegas Strip does its best to grab your attention, but it’s the displays inside Hyundai’s Ioniq Autonomous Concept that are holding my gaze as the car drives itself.

Nevada’s loudest, shiniest city is trying to make a name for itself as more than just gambling and Celine Dion impersonators, aiming to wrest the title of “most tech-friendly”

The Ioniq is, in fact, a number of cars with the same name and broad styling but different powertrains, ranging from a hybrid gas-electric, through plug-in hybrid, to full-electric.

that’ll consist of five hybrid-electric (HEV), four plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), four full-electric (EV), and a fuel-cell model that relies on hydrogen.

At the same time, it’s about the evolving car as a component of overall mobility, whether it’s driven by a human or piloted by a computer.

result is an autonomous driving system that’s far more integrated into the underlying car than many LIDAR-sprouting prototypes from other companies, which bristle with cameras and other sensors.

than a pricey 360-degree LIDAR on top of the car, Hyundai instead uses three, much cheaper IBO LIDAR sensors positioned at the front and sides of the Ioniq.

In tandem with that, Hyundai uses mid- and long-range radar on the front and rear, together with quad-camera array mounted up near the rear-view mirror in the windshield.

the trio of LIDAR sensors track the position, shape, velocity, and heading direct of objects around the front and side of the Ioniq Autonomous Concept, whether they’re cars, pedestrians, or something else.

Finally, the camera array serves a variety of purposes: figuring out what radar pings are pedestrians, for instance, as well as tracking lane markings, seeing whether traffic lights are red, yellow, or green, and finally a stereo camera pair to gage distance of other road traffic and buildings.

System frugality is even more of an issue when you’re dealing with an EV, since every watt that goes into the autonomous suite takes away from your overall driving range.

Hyundai hasn’t picked its production chip vendors yet, but is counting on leapfrog gains in power-to-processing ratios in the intervening years before its self-driving cars need to arrive in dealerships. The

On the left, a feed from the camera array, with traffic signals boxed out when identified and a green flag for when the lights change;

So, there’s the current speed limit, along with red and green indicators confirming what the prototype sees on any traffic lights ahead.

According to Nevada licensing law, Hyundai must have a registered driver behind the wheel, ready to take over at all times should the autonomous system disengage.

Its reactions may be faster than those of a regular person, and it may know what’s going on around it at all times and simultaneously, but it’s still dealing with fairly unpredictable humans in other vehicles on the road.

It wasn’t afraid of accelerating to the lights and then slowing eagerly, though it was more cautious than most regular drivers I know when it came to waiting for pedestrians if they were hovering by the curb.

As I’ve found on other autonomous drives before, it’s surprisingly easy to forget that masses of technology have replaced human meat at the wheel.

The Ioniq moved smoothly around the preprogrammed route, taking advantage of right-turn-on-red rules when applicable, handling multi-lane roads with zero confusion, and ending up back at the parking lot 10-12 minutes later where Hyundai’s driver took over again.

That’s up to and including discovering an error or inelegant way in how the car reacted to an unforeseen situation on one loop, and changing the programming so quickly that, by the same point on the subsequent loop, the prototype can handle it properly.

All the same, while increasingly capable ADAS systems may give Hyundai owners a taste of what self-driving cars will feel like in practice, there’s a huge step between the Ioniq Autonomous Concept I rode in and a vehicle someone could actually buy.

Hyundai is hoping that an autonomous consortium rises from the current morass, and helps create a path that automakers, legislators, and city planners can all follow together.

With CES 2017 in just a couple of weeks time, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered the convenience of a self-driving car to shuttle me through the tech launch madness.

The Ioniq is, in fact, a number of cars with the same name and broad styling but different powertrains, ranging from a hybrid gas-electric, through plug-in hybrid, to full-electric.

Eventually, that’ll consist of five hybrid-electric (HEV), four plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), four full-electric (EV), and a fuel-cell model that relies on hydrogen.

At the same time, it’s about the evolving car as a component of overall mobility, whether it’s driven by a human or piloted by a computer.

The result is an autonomous driving system that’s far more integrated into the underlying car than many LIDAR-sprouting prototypes from other companies, which bristle with cameras and other sensors.

In tandem with that, Hyundai uses mid- and long-range radar on the front and rear, together with quad-camera array mounted up near the rear-view mirror in the windshield.

So, the trio of LIDAR sensors track the position, shape, velocity, and heading direct of objects around the front and side of the Ioniq Autonomous Concept, whether they’re cars, pedestrians, or something else.

Finally, the camera array serves a variety of purposes: figuring out what radar pings are pedestrians, for instance, as well as tracking lane markings, seeing whether traffic lights are red, yellow, or green, and finally a stereo camera pair to gage distance of other road traffic and buildings.

Hyundai hasn’t picked its production chip vendors yet, but is counting on leapfrog gains in power-to-processing ratios in the intervening years before its self-driving cars need to arrive in dealerships.

So, there’s the current speed limit, along with red and green indicators confirming what the prototype sees on any traffic lights ahead.

Its reactions may be faster than those of a regular person, and it may know what’s going on around it at all times and simultaneously, but it’s still dealing with fairly unpredictable humans in other vehicles on the road.

It wasn’t afraid of accelerating to the lights and then slowing eagerly, though it was more cautious than most regular drivers I know when it came to waiting for pedestrians if they were hovering by the curb.

As I’ve found on other autonomous drives before, it’s surprisingly easy to forget that masses of technology have replaced human meat at the wheel.

The Ioniq moved smoothly around the preprogrammed route, taking advantage of right-turn-on-red rules when applicable, handling multi-lane roads with zero confusion, and ending up back at the parking lot 10-12 minutes later where Hyundai’s driver took over again.

That’s up to and including discovering an error or inelegant way in how the car reacted to an unforeseen situation on one loop, and changing the programming so quickly that, by the same point on the subsequent loop, the prototype can handle it properly.

All the same, while increasingly capable ADAS systems may give Hyundai owners a taste of what self-driving cars will feel like in practice, there’s a huge step between the Ioniq Autonomous Concept I rode in and a vehicle someone could actually buy.

Hyundai is hoping that an autonomous consortium rises from the current morass, and helps create a path that automakers, legislators, and city planners can all follow together.

With CES 2017 in just a couple of weeks time, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered the convenience of a self-driving car to shuttle me through the tech launch madness.

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