How Can We Enable Cars to Drive Themselves?

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27th February, 2019

Autonomous driving holds a lot of promise for society—fewer accidents, stress-free transport and more productive commutes. For a vehicle to drive safely on its own, however, it will need to "see," "judge" and "operate" better than a human does. At Mitsubishi Electric, we're utilizing our broad array of technologies to help reach this goal.

ADAS Was Designed to Enable a Future of Safer Driving

What will a car need to do to drive on its own? Just like a human driver, it will need to be aware of its surroundings so it can make sound judgements. To drive safely, a self-driving car will also need to effectively operate the steering wheel, accelerator and brakes.

As we move toward an autonomous driving future, we’re developing a system that helps human drivers with all of these things. Our Advanced Driver Assistance System, or "ADAS" for short, will combine our advanced sensing, vehicle control and communications technologies to make driving easier, safer and more comfortable than ever before.

Safe Driving Takes More Sensors Than You Can Imagine

To accurately "see" its surroundings, ADAS will make use of a forward-looking camera and sensors that use millimeter-wave radar and ultrasonic sonar. The forward-looking camera can differentiate lanes, detect nearby pedestrians and vehicles, read signs and even adjust the headlights for oncoming cars.

The millimeter-wave radar sensor can measure the distance and relative speed of other vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and objects. For enhanced visibility, the ultrasonic sonar sensor measures the relative speeds and distances of obstacles up to eight meters away. 

With that information, a computer inside the car, also known as an electronic control unit or "ECU," will judge what to do next for safe driving—and even help with the parking!

ADAS Takes on Snowy Weather

Curvy and snow-covered roads are some of the more difficult conditions human drivers negotiate—some better than others! These kinds of roads also make it hard for sensors and cameras to detect their surroundings. Our ADAS gives a vehicle precise and flexible driving and stopping power to help drivers operate even in sub-optimal conditions.

What’s more, the system will have access to much more information than today's driver. Since the car can communicate with quasi-zenith satellite systems and landscape data from precise 3D maps for location-based information—not to mention roadside antennas with data on current conditions—driving is sure to be smoother than it is today. Our expertise in all of these related technologies will ensure a high degree of accuracy and safety.
With any vehicle, passenger safety is a top priority, and autonomous and assisted driving cars are no exception. ADAS will link with other related systems to actively protect those inside the vehicle in the future.
From sensors to satellites, our Advanced Driver Assistance System is laying the foundation to make our roads safer for all.

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