Future Autonomous Cars and Optical Visual Recognition Systems Considered
Over the years, our think tank has been very interested in optical recognition. Specifically optical flow recognition which can be used by moving objects so they can run autonomously, or fly autonomously. Now then, using optical sensors is rather tough, and it requires certain things from the environment. Whatever medium you are looking through has to be clear as not to give false readings. In the event of an underwater unmanned vehicle the water can’t be too murky, and the lighting has to be just right, otherwise it will run into stuff and get itself lost, and that’s rather expensive when you’re dealing with prototypes trying to figure out flawless autonomous navigation.
Now then, the other day I was driving in the rain, and I went around a corner, and I couldn’t really tell where the road was because the markings had faded, the visibility was bad, and I was having trouble with my own organic sensors, namely my eyesight trying to figure out where I was supposed to be as I went around the corner, no I don’t have poor eyesight, it’s fine, but it was challenging for a couple of seconds there. I’m sure we’ve all been in this situation, and there’s another problem called “over driving your headlights” and that occurs when you are traveling at a decent rate of speed, and the lights in your car don’t shine forward enough to give you time to stop if something is in the way. This is why we get giant pile-ups in thick fog on the highways – very dangerous indeed.
Whether it’s an organic sensor such as a human eye, or an electronic optical visual sensor (optical flow sensor) which is used in autonomous navigation, it amounts to the same problem really. In the future autonomous cars will probably use at least some optical flow sensors to augment its other sensors to help it navigate. If so, then the road markings have to be quite visible, and distinguishable from other objects in the roadway, near the road, or crossing the road. Further, the powers that be in the local municipality, state, or when it comes to the federal highway system, the federal government must make it their utmost responsibility to maintain the road markings.
We’ve all heard that due to budget cuts some cities can fix the potholes in the road, or major road repairs go undone. In the future with autonomous cars, this is not going to be a worthy excuse because if the road markings start to fade, or they are not properly maintained, then all the robotic cars will start crashing. That’s not very funny if you happen to be riding inside of one which loses its way and goes off the road crashing into something solid. Please consider all this and think on it.