Intelligent vehicle: definition, operation and challenges
What exactly do we mean by "intelligent vehicle"? How does this type of car work and what are the challenges?
The technological evolution in the automotive field is not about to stop. It is generally converging towardsautomation and control through artificial intelligence. This is where the term " intelligent vehicle " originated. This type of car is considered a revolution in the automotive industry. How does the intelligent car work and what are its challenges?
Definition of the intelligent vehicle
The intelligent vehicle, also known as an automated car or connected car, is equipped with all the necessary functionalities, enabling it to drive in a fully autonomous or semi-autonomous manner. This makes it possible to simplify driving, and even to dispense with a driver in the near future; 100% autonomous models are still in the experimental phase.
Of course, it is not the car that is intelligent, but the artificial intelligence it carries with it. It had to travel thousands of kilometers before being able to understand and apprehend the various situations that can arise during driving, thanks to various equipment such as radars, cameras and different sensors.
What are the challenges related to the intelligent car?
The intelligent vehicle has multiple challenges that are both collective and individual. Its development and adoption by the vast majority will allow :
- to improve user comfort;
- to make traffic flow more smoothly;
- to promote economical and ecological driving;
- to make mobility and driving accessible to all (seniors, handicapped persons, etc.).
An automated vehicle would also be a great asset inoptimizing trips. Since it receives traffic information in real time, it will be able to take the best route.
How does this type of car work?
The equipment of smart cars
The autonomous or semi-autonomous intelligent vehicle operates with a lot of state-of-the-art equipment and software to assist the driver.
First of all, there are the cameras that identify traffic signs, road markings, traffic lights, but also pedestrians, animals and cyclists. They are, in a way, the car's eyes.
Then there are the radars which can be of different types:
- with beams or lidar which allow to locate the other cars;
- long ranges that capture the position and distance of other vehicles in traffic.
There are also ultrasonic sensors that detect obstacles at a short distance from the vehicle.
Of course, smart cars are all equipped with GPS that locates them in space and ensures the configuration of the routes.
Finally, it should be noted that the autonomous vehicle is a connected vehicle. To this end, it is equipped with sensors and connectivity systems that allow it to collect and transmit data concerning its position, speed, tire pressure, the state of its organs, and even the driver's behavior.
Artificial intelligence is the computer system that analyzes all this data collected by these devices. In other words, this software allows the car to merge the data, recognize situations and make decisions accordingly.
The different levels of autonomy of intelligent vehicles
If the functioning of intelligent vehicles depends essentially on their equipment and their artificial intelligence, they are not all equipped with the same levels of autonomy. Today, there are 6 levels of autonomy that allow us to classify vehicles, intelligent or not.
- Level 0 - it means that the car in question has no autonomy at all. The driver controls all driving parameters.
- Level 1 - the assistance available to the driver of a Level 1 car is limited. It is usually limited to cruise control and power steering.
- Level 2 - at this level, some specific actions are controlled by the vehicle. For example, it assists the driver during parking maneuvers. It alsoassists in keeping the vehicle in the middle of the lane or in managing acceleration and deceleration.
- Level 3 - cars in this classification are semi-autonomous. This means that the vehicle is able to "see" the environment and adjust driving accordingly. It can anticipate hazards, manage acceleration, overtaking or traffic jams. The driver can even take his eyes off the road briefly.
- Level 4 - the intelligent vehicle has a high autonomy. It can drive on a highway or in safe weather conditions. In theory, this type of car does not need driver intervention.
- Level 5 - this level corresponds to full autonomy of the smart car. This means that it can drive regardless of road and weather conditions. Theoretically, this type of vehicle can do without a driver.