The car of VisLab with 26 hidden cameras. Original link.
What is the VisLab’s development?
“We are now working on a new vehicle that we have equipped it with 26 cameras to have a 360 degrees perception around the vehicle with stereo cameras. The stereo cameras collect three-dimensional information with two sensors. The machine sees at 360 degrees in 3D and has very detailed information of all the objects and the people around.”
One of the interesting aspects is that “the cameras are all hidden, making the vehicle seems a normal car, without the massive bar on the roof on the Google Car, which is not feasible in a standard product.
In addition, the Google Car uses a laser sensor that rotates 360 degrees, VisLab decided to use cheaper solutions (cameras and low-cost sensors, such as those that many cars use in the standard parking system) that may allow the implementation of the system even on mid-range vehicles and not only on the advanced cars. ”
Does the car of VisLab need to communicate with the road infrastructure?
“About this, there are two kinds of thoughts: one that I support is that the vehicle must have the ability to move by itself without the aid from infrastructure, and VisLab is going in that direction. We are trying to give intelligence to the vehicle so that it can move in the current road infrastructure. There is also another kind of thought that one day all vehicles can communicate with each other and there will also be vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. And as well as smart cars, there will be intelligent infrastructure that will communicate the road conditions, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and more with cars.
(One paragraph is too difficult for my Italian now, I tried but failed.)
When can we have the commercial self-driving vehicles?
“There is a lot of previsions. Someone says that within three or four years there will already be automatic vehicles on the market. But it depends on what kind of automation: there are different levels of automation. I am sure that the automation in highway is easy to reach, we are already able to do that: I enters the highway, press a button and the vehicle stays in the lane, overtakes and brakes autonomously. But the highway environment is very simple: all the vehicles go in the same direction, and there are no crossings and traffic lights, and pedestrians.
But an autonomous vehicle in an urban environment probably still need twenty years. The problems are big because the infrastructure is very complex, just think of the roundabout: we can manage it well if the roundabout has just one lane, but it is much complex when the roundabout has three lanes especially during the rush hour.
Obviously the ‘door to door’ vehicle that we speak of, is a vehicle which is capable to take us from our house to a friend’s house, driving in urban, suburban and then back to the city, managing everything. This is still quite complex now. ”