Driverless Cars to Become Smarter: What Can the New ViDAR Technology Offer?

Waymo’s driverless cars will get more advanced terrain and object recognition technology.

Google Brain’s division has presented a new promising technology called ViDAR. It was presented at the 2020 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) recently held in the United States.

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The ViDAR system is able to detect the movement of remote objects, extending the scanning depth of modern video sensors. In practice, thanks to artificial intelligence, it can assess the movement of the camera relative to the surrounding world, allowing more accurate scanning of all its elements. Besides, the system can correctly recognize them and predict movement directions of other vehicles or other road users, including pedestrians.

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Thus, the limitations of modern video cameras are overcome, which are subject to the so-called «gelatinous effect» due to vibrations and image distortion, which creates certain errors in the operation of the entire automated driving system. Previously, the drone could, for example, confuse a stone with a crumpled piece of paper, as well as with some other objects.

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The new technology will be used primarily on Waymo’s self-driving cars (Google’s subsidiary), which has already partnered with FCA, Jaguar Land Rover and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and has also announced a partnership with Volvo. The driverless Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid was released in 2016, and the driverless Jaguar I-Pace — in 2018. What concerns Volvo, the company develops a new EV platform for launching online taxis in the future.

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