How is Arduino Technology used in Automated Vehicles?

autonomous vehicle

An automated vehicle is a driverless or more popularly known as an autonomous vehicle, which is capable of taking full control of the driving activity and navigating on its own without any form of human input. This concept was more of a science fiction few years ago but has become a reality in today’s world with more and more companies like Google, Volvo, Ford, Audi and BMW incorporating the concept of automated technology for cars. These companies are performing various types of tests to collect data on actual public roads in Europe and the US to check the feasibility of commercially launching them in the near future.

autonomous vehicle

Gif: Steph Davidson; Source: Tesla (4)

How Does an Autonomous Vehicle Work

An autonomous vehicle in general uses a combination of technology and techniques to perform the driving task. Most of these self-driven vehicles use various techniques like Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging), radar, GPS and computer vision. Lidar – a detection system works like a radar using light from a laser and is used to sense the environment surrounding the vehicle. It is mounted on the roof of the vehicle for better visibility to scan the surrounding and provides a 360-degree view of the surroundings. Radar sensors on the other hand measure the distance of the surrounding obstacles to the car. Visual devices like advanced cameras detect signal lights, pedestrians and other moving objects. The main computer mounted on the vehicle with advanced hardware and software like programmed Arduino boards are used to analyze the data from the sensors and compare it with built-in maps to actually sense, control and perform the driving task.

What is Arduino Technology
Arduino is an electronics platform and is an open source, which originated in Ivrea in Italy. It consists of 8, 16 or 32-bit microcontroller and is programmed based on the requirement and the task to be performed. It can be used for prototyping with little or no knowledge of electronics and programming. Users can build Arduino boards independently and make it adaptable to various applications and projects. Arduino software, (IDE – Integrated Development Environment) is also open source and runs on Mac, Windows and Linux, it is based on AVR C (C and C++) programming language. Being an open source, it is widely used by teachers and students in chemistry, physics and robotics. Arduino boards are able to read various types of inputs like light on a sensor and turn it into an output like activating a motor, this can be accomplished by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the Arduino board by using the Arduino language and software.

autonomous vehicle arduino

Arduino in Autonomous Vehicles

Arduino boards are most commonly used in robotics and play a major role in the design and functioning of autonomous vehicles. They receive inputs from various sensors mounted on the vehicle and converts them into actions by actuating and controlling various functions to perform the driving tasks.



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