They introduce the first national self-driving car: how it works, how much it costs, and when it can hit the streets

This week for the first time a independent vehicle management program that is going on Entirely developed in ArgentinaHe showcased, by local engineers and researchers, his current public driving skills: he traveled half a dozen circuits with curves, ditches and obstacles in an enclosed area. All this carries passengers and a driver who at no point in time during the test touched the steering wheel or pedals. The only “command” a human provided was “enter,” generated from the keyboard of a computer in the back seat. This step is only the first step. Developers hope to get rolling Through the streets of GBA, In the next two yearswhich is a small group of autonomous vehicles, with an intermediate level of autonomy (second level).

So far, the project has requested $250,000

“Our project is to advance the development of algorithms and fine-tune the ‘brain’ necessary for an autonomous vehicle to be able to circulate on Argentine streets and roads, an environment that is not necessarily the same environment that vehicles find in other countries. With other management cultures,” he profiles Engineer Ignacio Mas, Researcher at Conicet and Coordinator of Linar (artificial intelligence lab and robotics) operating from the University of San Andreas (Odessa). At this study center, a team of dozens of researchers, teachers and students from various professions are working on self-driving vehicles that are able to “adapt” and respond to local demand.

As shown PlusThis pioneering development focused on equipping the Ford Fusion hybrid Imported, which already comes from the “factory” with a high-end computer, with a series of “extra” sensors that include a Lidar-type radar, half a dozen video cameras and a high-resolution GPS (one centimeter). But the most important thing is that They added a computer “brain” to the car (Powerful computer) with software developed in Argentina, which takes care of receiving, integrating and analyzing information captured by sensors in order to make driving decisions. Then you must give the precise electronic commands to the steering wheel, engine and brakes so that the car follows the path preloaded by its programmers, without moving forward and safely transporting its occupants.

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National. One of the details that Maas emphasized in the show is that the algorithms that control an autonomous vehicle, all of which are big cars in the world Explore, they are not all the same. “They must be able to ‘read’ the specific environment of each country, as well as the particular idiosyncrasies of drivers and pedestrians and other street conditions. In each geographic region, the film’s protagonists react differently,” he said.

That is why, if one day Argentina wants to have cars, vans, trucks on its roads capable of helping its drivers, and even taking complete control of the vehicle, The electronic “brain” must be “located”. “Although these technologies are mostly developed in first world countries, if we want them to work well in Latin America, we will have to adapt them to our environment,” said expert Conicet.

“This is just a first step,” he said. Roberto Bunji, Director of the Department of Engineering and Director of the Artificial Intelligence Engineering Profession at UdeSA. “So far, our autonomous car has been tested in a closed and controlled circuit. But the idea is that we are improving software and artificial intelligence algorithms so that the car can gradually recognize the things it “sees” (pedestrians, traffic lights, cyclists, other cars, etc.) and predict their behavior and the ability to make decisions. Safe handling, in a timely manner.” The project required an investment of, to date, approximately $250,000 USD, contributed by half a dozen Lenar’s sponsors. Lab officials said they want to keep this unique example: They are already planning to add another vehicle, possibly a truck, to further develop autonomous driving solutions, capable of taking us through the rugged streets of Argentina.

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Goodbye to buses and trucks with the driver

Although when thinking about self-driving vehicles, the first image is of driverless cars, the truth is that it is very likely that the first means of transportation of this type will not be cars but trucks. The reason is simple: according to calculations by the US Department of Transportation, the amount of freight transported by truck has increased by 56% in the past decade. It is expected to practically double in the next 25 years. With such a growing demand, it is not uncommon for companies to consider vehicles that need or do without fewer truck drivers. That’s why they offer solutions targeting SAE Tier 4 trucks, a level of autonomous driving technology that includes driving automation so that the vehicle can perform all driving tasks, in specific situations, without waiting for someone to intervene. As a result, the car continues to run automatically even if the driver does not react (if there is one in the cab). Far from the protests this generates, it is undoubtedly a possibility: it is worth remembering that the first prototype of an autonomous truck was presented, in 2014, by Daimler, with Mercedes-Benz Future Truck.

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