Electric & Autonomous Vehicles News - 02/18/2020 - Views: 291
MIT’s Ground-Penetrating Radar Looks Down for Perfect Self-Driving
Ground-penetrating radar may soon be the sensor that makes your car autonomous in all weather conditions. It turns out that when you scan the 10 feet below the roadway surface, you get a unique identifier that is accurate to an inch or two. Mapping cars would scan the roadways once, then your self-driving car with its own ground-penetrating radar would rescan as you drive, matching its real-time scan to the master map. That would keep your car centered, even if pavement markings are covered by snow or ice, according to WaveSense, an MIT spinoff that already has already tested military applications.
Ground-penetrating radar can’t be the only sensor in a self-driving car. An autonomous car still needs surface radar, possibly lidar, and cameras to track other vehicles, pedestrians, animals, blocked lanes, and cars stopped or crashed in travel lanes. But it has the potential to be the breakthrough that allows bad-weather autonomous driving.