An Examination of Autonomous Vehicle Technology

Although Autonomous Vehicle (A/V) technology has been advancing at a rapid pace, the prospect of mass deployment has not yet been achieved. The American public’s resistance is justified as highly publicized failures of the technology have been reported, heightening public concerns.

Autonomous Vehicle technology has evolved and developed over time. This article will explore the origins of the technology and follow the progress of its rapid advancement up to the present day. Autonomous Vehicle technology consists of six levels which were created by the Society of Automotive Engineers in 2014, and subsequently adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Level Zero consists of no automation as the driver completes all of the driving tasks. Level One Thru Level Five (Fig. 1) consist of ever increasing levels of autonomy where Level Five is complete autonomy requiring no intervention from the driver.

Numerous companies have received government approval for testing and trials not only throughout the United States but world-wide. This article is concerned with the development of this technology within the scope of the United States. This article will explore the variety of technologies utilized such as AI, Machine Learning, radar, LIDAR, laser light, GPS, Odometry, telemetry, sensor fusion, Deep Neural Networks, IMU’s, and computer vision. Prominent players within the industry are utilizing a variety of technology platforms with no industry technology standard, instead utilizing a free-style mix of different technology components. This article will endeavor to explore, as well as compare and contrast, the divergent technology platforms each of the prominent players have adopted.
With the rapid advances in Autonomous Vehicle technology, automobile manufacturers have provided consumers optional products with increasing levels of autonomy rolling out such features as adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, lane keeping assistance, and automatic emergency breaking. These features have introduced American drivers to the lower levels of autonomous vehicle technology providing added safety benefits. The bifurcation of Autonomous Vehicles and Connected Vehicles (vehicle to infrastructure- V2I, Vehicle to Pedestrian-V2P and Vehicle to Vehicle- V2V) will be explored as there does not exist a melding of these two types of technology platforms that are currently being tested. These two separate stand-alone technologies are in their beta phase.

Author: James J. Mennie


Cite as: Mennie, J.J. (2019). An examination of autonomous vehicle technology. Muma Business Review 3(17). 193-205.