The Washington Times Daily - - Auto -

that could en­able semi and fully au­ton­o­mous driv­ing, will be avail­able by the end of the decade.

GM’S lead­ing-edge work on sen­sor fu­sion draws on its ex­pe­ri­ence with The Boss, a fully au­ton­o­mous Chevro­let Ta­hoe de­vel­oped by GM, Carnegie Mel­lon Univer­sity and other part­ner com­pa­nies, and named for GM R&D founder Charles F. “Boss” Ket­ter­ing. In 2007, The Boss nav­i­gated 60 miles of ur­ban traf­fic, busy in­ter­sec­tions and stop signs in less than six hours to win the De­fense Ad­vanced Re­search Projects Agency (DARPA) Ur­ban Chal­lenge com­pe­ti­tion.

Sen­sor fu­sion de­vel­op­ment also is bol­stered by GM’S work on the EN-V, three semi-au­ton­o­mous elec­tric con­cept ve­hi­cles un­veiled at the 2010 Shang­hai World Expo. By com­bin­ing GPS with ve­hi­cle-tove­hi­cle com­mu­ni­ca­tions, dis­tance-sens­ing and ob­ject de­tec­tion tech­nolo­gies, EN-V can be driven both man­u­ally and au­tonomously, the lat­ter al­low­ing it to au­to­mat­i­cally se­lect the fastest route based on real-time traf­fic in­for­ma­tion.

Among the tech­nolo­gies that GM is look­ing to de­velop for fu­ture ac­tive safety sys­tems is LI­DAR, a light de­tect­ing and rang­ing tech­nol­ogy that can mea­sure the dis­tance to a ve­hi­cle or ob­ject by illuminating it, of­ten us­ing pulses from a laser. Although LI­DAR is no re­place­ment for driver vi­sion, it can be­come an­other set of eyes when vis­i­bil­ity has de­te­ri­o­rated due to in­clement weather or dark­ness. When com­bined with radar, cam­eras and ul­tra­sonic sen­sors, LI­DAR has po­ten­tial crash avoid­ance ca­pa­bil­ity.

A more ad­vanced po­si­tion­ing sys­tem, us­ing more ac­cu­rate GPS and dig­i­tal map­ping, also is ex­pected to play an im­por­tant role on fu­ture ac­tive safety sys­tems be­cause it helps lo­cate ve­hi­cles in re­la­tion to one an­other. While GPS ef­fec­tive­ness can be lim­ited in ur­ban canyon en­vi­ron­ments where high-rise build­ings can in­ter­fere with satel­lite signals, the tech­nol­ogy is still con­sid­ered an as­set when “fused” with other sens­ing and po­si­tion­ing tech­nolo­gies.

“No sen­sor work­ing alone pro­vides all the needed in­for­ma­tion. That’s why mul­ti­ple sen­sors and po­si­tion­ing tech­nolo­gies need to work to­gether syn­er­gis­ti­cally and seam­lessly,” Litk­ouhi said. “Sen­sor fu­sion will help fa­cil­i­tate that.”

In­te­grat­ing cam­eras, radar, laser radar, sen­sors, GPS and dig­i­tal map­ping is in­tended to make driv­ers more aware and help avert crashes.

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