If you’ve ever noticed an autonomous vehicle out on the road, it was probably hard to miss the plethora of high tech cameras and equipment attached to the vehicle. Cameras, radar, lidar (light detection) and other technologies are used to help driverless cars see all of their surroundings and driver safer, but up until now the technology has been costly and initially struggled with understanding real-time road conditions. We recently discussed how automakers and other businesses are adapting to the eventuality of driverless cars taking over the road, and new companies are springing up to rethink the visual technology behind driverless cars.
Lvl5, based in San Francisco, is a startup working on software that builds 3D maps based on images and data recorded from an autonomous vehicle’s camera sensors. The company’s founders previously worked at Tesla, Inc., helping to develop the first stages of Tesla’s Autopilot system for autonomous vehicles. The goal behind Lvl5 is to provide automakers with a more economical option for environmental mapping than what’s currently available. On average, a lidar sensor added to an autonomous vehicle’s camera system costs upwards of $75,000.
Lvl5 is developing an algorithm that takes 2D camera and video images and processes them into 3D maps. Initial data has been gathered through crowdsourced drivers such as rideshares and trucks via a dashcam mobile app. At its core, the tech’s advantage is real-time, updated mapping of a vehicle’s surroundings that can be quickly installed on vehicles or incorporated into existing camera systems. The real-time system has some obvious advantages, such as:
- Quick mapping response to changes in road conditions or traffic patterns
- Repeated visual confirmation of potentially confusing landmarks, such as a white vehicle or building in front of a bright sky
The technology behind visual cues for driverless cars is advancing quickly and still has a ways to go, but investing in real-time, constantly updated data for road conditions is an important step towards autonomous cars becoming a safe reality for everyday use. What are your thoughts on video/mapping tech for driverless cars? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and be sure to visit us online at www.gesrepair.com or call us at 1-877-249-1701 to learn more about our services. We’re proud to offer Surplus, Complete Repair and Maintenance on all types of Industrial Electronics, Servo Motors, AC and DC Motors, Hydraulics and Pneumatics. Please subscribe to our YouTube page and Like Us on Facebook! Thank you!