The research report from Neural Propulsion Systems, of Pleasanton, Calif., Found that the sensors needed to eliminate road deaths must process data at a maximum rate of 100 terabits per second, or 10 times the data rate from the eyes to the brain. of a human being. According to the report, humans see only about one billionth of the information processing speed needed to prevent accidents.
NPS revealed in its report that it was able to achieve those rates, in a pilot-scale proof-of-concept test of the central sensor element required to “Zero deaths on the roads”at an airport in Northern California in December.
The data rates in the sensor were achieved through a combination of revolutionary analytics, advanced multi-band radar, solid-state LiDAR, and advanced system-on-a-chip technology, according to the report, which was written by Behrooz Rezvani, Babak Hassibi and Lawrence Burns.
“The key question for companies developing autonomous driving systems should be ‘What do I need to have to get to zero road deaths?'” Said Hassibi, NPS CTO and co-founder in a press release. “We have concluded that the detection and processing of around 100 terabits per second is one of these necessary requirements and this is indeed possible.”
“Today, road accidents cause more 1.3 million victims and 50 million injured per yearof which half are pedestrians and cyclists “added Burns, executive director of NPS. “We now have the vehicle detection and processing technology to see well enough to allow this epidemic to end.”
Advanced sensors and new math
At the heart of the NPS sensor is a mathematical framework called Atomic Norm, developed at MIT and Caltech and optimized by NPS for autonomous driving. It fundamentally changes the way sensor data is processed and understood.
“Based on the principles of physics and information theory, it is possible that sensors see well enough to allow zero deaths on the roads”said Rezvani, CEO and founder of NPS. “This is not a mere desire. Today it is possible “.
“We are solely focused on implementing this historic technology that sees everything first, clearer and farther to give autonomous vehicles the stopping distance and time they need to reach zero preventable accidents,” he continued.
“Henry Ford said his goal was for every family he worked to own a car”, he added. “Our goal is that no one loses a loved one in a car accident.”
Multisensors capable of “seeing” in all types of weather conditions e perceive impending threatsas well as advanced artificial intelligence, are critical to making a low-mortality future possible, noted Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a services firm consultant in Bend, Ore.
“However, we will also need real-time vehicle-to-vehicle and cloud communications and increased technical support in the field to achieve the optimal low-mortality result.”he told the press.
A key missing element in NPS’s vision for a zero-death future appears to be the need to leverage infrastructure to make it work any autonomous vehicle schemesaid Roger C. Lanctot, director of automotive connected mobility at Strategy Analytics, a global research, consulting and analytics firm.
“All indications are that fully automated driverless vehicles will have to operate on physical or wireless ‘rails’ or will require extensive support from infrastructure-based edge computing,” he told the press.
Furthermore, he stressed that data processing is not the only problem facing sensors in autonomous vehicles. “To claim that processing power, speed or quantity alone can solve the problem in connection with a profusion of sensors is to ignore the reality of the limitations of transmitting such information by wire or wireless”he has declared. “In other words, it’s not just a matter of processing in combination with sensors.”
“The goal of zero victims is just that, a goal”, has continued. “It’s the kind of goal that can only be increased and repeated but never achieved“.
It is a goal that can hardly be achieved with NSP super sensors. “All sensors are prone to failures in good and bad operating environments and circumstances”Lanctot explained. “Perfection is not possible.”
Enderle added that the technology now exists to create an autonomous vehicle. “The problem is that it has to reach critical mass as an implemented technology and we haven’t started on that path yet”he noted.
He explained that the technology will need to be perfected once it is used on a large scale and there may be obstacles along the way. “There will no doubt be low-cost implementations that fail or vendors, Tesla thinks, that they over-promote a poor system before it is truly ready“.
However, he predicted: “We should be able to get there by 2040”. While zero deaths might be a good goal, it remains fallacious in some situations. “Zero death is not achievable because you will still have situations like black ice, landslides, equipment failures and human drivers in other misbehaving cars”Enderle said.
“But,” he added, “you can reduce those deaths by over 90 percent.”
Crisis on the roads
To accelerate the introduction of autonomous vehicles into the mainstream, Rezvani recommended that the federal government get involved as it did with seat belt safety. “Achieving zero road deaths is necessary for universal adoption of autonomous driving and is the goal of the recently published US National Road Safety Strategy”.
“We need to have a common understanding of what’s possible and have the will to do it,” he added.
The strategy, released in January by the U.S. Department of Transportation, says the nation is facing a crisis on its roads. “Nearly 95 percent of our nation’s transportation deaths occur on American roads, roads and highways and they are on the rise“he noted.
“Americans deserve to travel safely in their communities”he has declared. “Humans make mistakes and, as good transport system administrators, we should have safeguards in place to prevent those mistakes from being fatal. Zero is the only acceptable number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads “.
According to the NPS report, zero deaths is totally doable. “Based on the principles of physics and information theory, we conclude that it is possible that sensors can see well enough to allow zero deaths on the roads”he noted. “And, based on proven prototype testing of the NPS sensing and processing platform, we conclude that there is a scalable and commercially viable technology to do this, and it is realistic to build such a system.”