NXP FTF: New systems will make vehicles more intelligent and aware of the world around them
Driverless cars are a hot topic within the technology industry, as demonstrated by this week’s Queen’s Speech, but how close are we to actually seeing autonomous vehicles on the roads?
At its Future Technology Forum (FTF) event in Austin this week, NXP demoed demo a smart driving concept, powered by its Vehicle to X technology (V2X) system, which it hopes will bring self-driving cars closer to reality.
Although they resemble slightly upgraded golf carts, NXP’s vehicles represent an important step forward into getting V2X technology into road vehicles, creating a safer driving experience for drivers, passengers and pedestrians tonight.
At its simplest terms, V2X helps the car connect and communicate to the world around it, allowing the creation of a constantly updating 360-degree image of its surroundings.
This means the car is always able to detect any possible collisions, hazards or changes in situation, even down to monitoring the road lane markings to warn users when to merge or turn off at an exit.
The system is even able to offer alternatives to the vehicle when problems occur – for example, when only one lane is open, the V2X system controls on-coming vehicles with traffic lights to safely share the single lane. V2X will also advise drivers on optimal speed to pass the traffic light during a green phase and the remaining time of the green signal.
The vehicles on show in Austin this week were able to react to lights changing ahead of the car, and was even able to stop completely when a pedestrian unexpectedly stepped out in to traffic.
NXP has this week also made a significant step towards introducing V2X to the mainstream this week with the release of its BlueBox platform.
This combines many of the leading sensor technologies, such as video, Radar and Lidar capabilities into one service that will allow vehicles to create a fuller, more integrated vision of its surroundings.
NXP says that the technology is also able to support advanced embedded intelligence and machine learning capabilities required for vehicles to create complex situational assessments.
This means that the vehicles will be able to better detect objects, improve mapping, and make quicker decisions than ever before.
The system is also open-source, meaning that car manufacturers are able to tweak the software to introduce specialised functions that can boost certain efficiency or safety features on their vehicles.
This should also start appearing soon, as NXP says the first BlueBox-powered vehicles will start to appear later this year, and that four of the world’s “five largest” auto manufacturers are signed up for 2020 launches.
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