Technology in autonomous vehicles

Dash cameras

A dash camera consists of the following components: a video camera, hard-wired power inputs, and built-in or removable solid state storage media. A dashboard camera is typically wired into a circuit that is only hot when the ignition key is in the start or run position, and most dash cameras will automatically start when your car starts and record video onto removable storage. Dash cameras are used in automated cars to record the image while the vehicle is traveling.


Standing for “Light Detection and Ranging”, Lidar is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating that target with a pulsed laser light, and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3D-representations of the target. Lidar helps to build a digital image that allows the car to ‘see’ what’s around it to make vehicles autonomous, but this technology is expensive to use.

The Global Positioning System (GPS), is a global navigation satellite system that provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. The system does not require the user to transmit any data, and it operates independently of any telephonic or internet reception. GPS creates maps for autonomous cars so that they can know where to go.

Infrared radiation

Infrared radiation is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with longer wavelengths than those of visible light, and it is invisible. Infrared radiation is emitted or absorbed by molecules when they change their rotational-vibrational movements. It excites vibrational modes in a molecule through a change in the dipole moment. It is used to determine the surroundings of the vehicle, and it is widely at night when there is insufficient visible light to see.


The term "ultrasonic" applied to sound refers to anything above the frequencies of audible sound, and nominally includes anything over 20,000 Hz. Ultrasound can be useful for detecting things close-in to a car where the LIDAR doesn’t see, and it is good enough to do simple parking operations. It can also be applied for range finding. However, ultrasonic is not a good technology compared to Lidar, as Lidar sees about 100m and return a million or more pixels per second.
I would like to take a close look at the Lidar technology. Lidar is applied to lots of autonomous models, such as Tesla S and Waymo. As Lidar sits between cameras and radar and can detect both distance and objects, it can make out the shape of those objects. It is also highly effective at creating a three dimensional map of an environment. However, the drawback of Lidar is that it can’t see behind solid objects. For example, if the car has a single Lidar unit and a cyclist pulls alongside the car, a comparatively large area is hidden from view. Also, the cost of the Lidar system is too high. Lidar has the potential for transport planning.


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