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How driverless cars work

Comms, Information

You have seen them in Sci Fi movies and you have heard that they are coming to a high street near you soon but how do driverless cars work and are they the future of transportation?

New cars coming onto the market are now able to offer some level of self driving mode. The most limited of which is parking assistance technology that will literally park the car for you.  But the future of self driving cars is far more reaching than simply a parking tool.

driverless cars and the 5G network

A fully functioning self driving car (when they are commercially available and legally allowed to be used on UK roads) uses a large number of sensors, cameras and radar scans to identify and monitor the vehicles surrounding area.  This allows it to monitor the road for hazards such as other vehicles, pedestrians, traffic lights and safety road markings.  Using this information, the vehicle can then accelerate, rake and steer.

But monitoring the road is only one part of how a self driving car works.  Its on board computer can follow both pre programmed algorithms and commands but can also learn and make its own decisions based on the vehicles unique experiences.  While this may seem like something out of an AI movie, it is an essential part of the vehicles ability to adapt to changing traffic conditions or if it is travelling along unmapped roads.

Examples of self driving car features already available in the UK

While self driving cars are not currently available in the UK, some of the features of a fully functioning self driving car are already available in cars on the market including:

Adaptive Cruise Control

There was a time when cruise control was simply activating a set speed for the car which then kept at said speed regardless of what was happening on the road.  Adaptive cruise control uses radar to maintain a set distance from the car in front.  This same system will be a vital component in future driverless cars.

Parking Systems

Many higher spec luxury cars now come with a driverless technology that uses cameras and sensors to park the vehicle for you.  It can judge if a parking space is big enough then can take over control of the steering, speed and braking of the car to carry out the parking process for you.

Lane Assist

Lane assist tracks the painted lines of a road and helps to steer you back into the lane if you begin to drift off line.

Emergency Braking

A vital component of self driving cars will be their ability to stop.  And that feature is already well in use on vehicles on the road.  Using radar to scan the road ahead, a cars computer can activate the breaks of your car if it detects an imminent collision.  The reaction times of the computer can dramatically cut your speed and stopping distance to either stop an accident or reduce its violent impact.  The latest radar systems on high end cars can also recognise pedestrians as well as other vehicles.


Where HF Comms comes in

For driverless cars to truly become a part of our day to day lives, widespread 5G availability will be essential. And that is where HF Comms comes in.  We are one of the leading telecommunications companies in the UK and as part of ongoing contracts with existing clients, we are currently helping to upgrade the UKs 5G network.

Car manufacturers will not begin pushing the full development of driverless cars until the infrastructure (including a full 5G network) are in place.  Manufacturers such as Tesla only currently offer semi autonomous driving capabilities using the onboard sensors and cameras with network communication only utilised as a secondary means of communication.

Whether is is driverless cars or communication tower builds, there are few areas of industry as fast-moving as the Communications sector.

Certainly, there are few as competitive. In this climate, HF Comms has grown and developed almost as quickly as the sector itself. If you would like to know more about HF Comms and our range of telecommunication services, please contact us today.

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