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Unmanned smart car runs 114 km on expressway alone

(People's Daily Online)

17:14, January 24, 2013

Key Words: unmanned smart car; unmanned driving; military

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Test site: it ran over 100 kilometers in high speed unmanned and completed 33 times of overtaking

Recently, an unmanned smart car of Chinese military finished its test run on the 114-kilometer-long section of the expressway from Taihu toll station (Beijing) to Dongli toll station (Tianjin) with complicated driving conditions in 85 minutes solely through intelligent control by computer. Its maximum speed was as high as 105 kilometers per hour.

"Its speed was 79 kilometers per hour on average, and 105 to maximum. Totally 33 times of overtaking were completed during this journey," said Liu Hongquan, associate professor of Military Transportation University.

Magic structure: cameras serve as its "eyes" while radar and computer as the "brain"

The unmanned car also has keen "eyes" and a smart "brain" as man does. Several "big eyes" are set outside the car, including five radars, three cameras and one satellite navigator.

Each eye is designed for different functions: the three cameras fixed at the position of rearview mirrors inside the car are utilized to monitor the conditions on both the left and the right sides and in front of the car and send the images of lane lines, isolation belts and other relevant objects to the computer, and then the computer would make driving options after analyzing whether that can be crossed. The radars on the roof and the front bumper are expected to detect the distance from the car to the surrounding physical objects, to decide whether to brake, speed up or overtake.

Its brain is an executive system composed of two computers and a standby computer which are used to drive the mechanical device and realize the independent braking and similar actions through comprehensive analysis of all sorts of information collected. Therefore, the car may run as good as a skilled driver can drive.

Future application: leave out a number of drivers in transportation and avoid fatigue driving

Zheng Nanning, academician and expert of auto control of Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that the future application of unmanned smart cars will be quite extensive though there are a variety of relevant problems yet to be fixed.

It can also effectively avoid fatigue driving. The driver may turn the car into unmanned driving status and sleep at ease whenever he feels tired. In case an optimized driving routes planning can be achieved by virtue of organic integration of the smart car and the Internet and cloud computing technologies, the traffic jam troubles may be eased correspondingly.

Read the Chinese version: 我军无人驾驶智能汽车驶上高速公路, source: PLA Daily, author: Zhu Lei, Zhang Zhiye

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