Autonomous Driving - A Practical Roadmap 2010-01-2335
Successful demonstrations of fully autonomous vehicle operation in controlled situations are leading to increased research investment and activity. This has already resulted in significant advancements in the underlying technologies necessary to make it a practical reality someday. Not only are these idealized events sparking imaginations with the potential benefits for safety, convenience, fuel economy and emissions, they also embolden some to make somewhat surprising and sometimes astonishing projections for their appearance on public roads in the near future.
Are we now ready for a giant leap forward to the self-driving car with all its complexity and inter-dependencies? Humans will need to grow with and adapt to the technological advancements of the machine and we'll deeply challenge our social and political paradigms before we're done. Even if we as engineers are ready, is the driving public ready?
Putting a man on the moon was achieved through a series of logical extensions of what mankind knew, with necessity driving a search for technical solutions in the usual as well as unusual places, much as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency did with their Grand Challenges. This paper addresses the autonomous vehicle vision in terms of the current state and some of the practical obstacles to be overcome, and proposes a possible roadmap for the major technology developments, new collaborative relationships, and feature implementation progression for achieving those ambitions.