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Getting rid of distractions by getting rid of the drivers


March 12, 2012   by Canadian Underwriter


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One way to prevent distracted driving is to take the drivers out of the equation and have the cars drive themselves, as noted in bloggers’ posts on Mashable.com.

And while this may seem like a technologist’s utopian fantasy, Nevada’s Legislative Commission has already approved testing of autonomous vehicles on the state’s roadways, as noted in a blog post by Kate Freeman on Mashable.com.

In fact, Google has been the first to test its driverless system in Nevada, Freeman writes, quoting a Google representative.

“Self-driving cars have the potential to significantly increase driving safety,” a Google spokesperson told Mashable. “We applaud Nevada for building a thoughtful framework to enable safe, ongoing testing of the technology and to anticipate the needs and best interests of Nevada citizens who may own vehicles with self-driving capabilities one day.”

Mashable blogger Charlie White posted an infographic outlining advances in driverless technology. They include:

• Radar: accident-prevention systems that trigger alerts when they detect something in a car’s blind spot.

• Lane Guidance: cameras mounted behind the rear-view mirror recognize lane markings, spotting the contrast between road surface and boundary lines.

• Lidar: A rooftop ranging system made up of 64 lasers, painting a 360-degree picture of the car’s surroundings, accurate to 2 cm.

• Infrared Cameras: installed in the headlamps, extending the night vision of the car without the use of high beams.

• Stereo Vision: Two windshield-mounted cameras that build a real-time 3D image of the road ahead, spotting hazards such as pedestrians and animals.

• GPS.

• Wheel Encoder: Wheel-mounted sensors measure the velocity of the car as it maneuvers through traffic.


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