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Autonomous Vehicles: Where We Stand Today

Autonomous Vehicles: Where We Stand Today, automation in its early form has already made its way into most high-tier vehicles released in the last two years




Autonomous Vehicles Where we Stand Today

Although we are yet to see fully automated, driverless cars driving themselves around everywhere, automation in its early form has already made its way into most high-tier vehicles released in the last two years. If that intrigues you, rest assured that we will elaborate on that and much more as we take a look at where automation in vehicles stands now.

1. Understanding the Levels of Autonomous Features: You May Have a Few in Your Car Already

In total, there are five levels of autonomous features for self-driving cars, and the last one is theoretical at this time. Once we go through the five levels of autonomous driving/assistive features, you will likely realize that your new car may have a few of the Level 1, 2, or even three features in it already!

Level 1 Autonomous Features

Level 2 Autonomous Features

  • Presence of an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS)
  • AI has limited ability to control steering, acceleration and emergency braking
  • A human driver is necessary for everything else and also for supervision

Level 3 Autonomous Features

  • Quite similar to Level 2 autonomous vehicles and has all the features mentioned above
  • Environmental awareness & detection capabilities allow for taking intelligent decisions when on auto mode.

Level 4 Autonomous Features

  • The closest we have come to fully driverless cars
  • Human driving input is only required in unmapped areas or while traversing rugged terrains

Level 5 Autonomous Features

  • The AI can drive the car safely across all terrains and weather conditions
  • A human driver is unnecessary
  • There are no level 5 self-sufficient vehicles on record yet

For those wondering, there is often a mention of Level 0 autonomous vehicles as well. Still, it’s essentially a term used to designate vehicles with zero autonomous capabilities, and therefore, it was not elaborated on here.

2. There are Tremendous Career Prospects for Automotive Engineers

The normal payroll of a self-driving car engineer was $295,000 in 2017, while the average salary of a general automotive engineer is only $76,513. The stark difference between the two related but quite different fields of work is largely due to the following facts.

  • There aren’t enough qualified engineers available for autonomous car projects.
  • All the top car manufacturers are looking for them
  • The future of the car industry is going to be dependent on self-driven cars
  • The race to get there first and take the first mover’s advantage is on

Right now, an ECE-Advanced Mobility oriented electrical and computer engineering master’s degree is one of the most lucrative courses for engineers because of this surging demand. It merges the two fields perfectly and specializes in robotics, dynamic system design, and app development for current-gen and next-gen autonomous vehicles. As more self-governing cars make it onto the road throughout the next decade, the need for driverless car engineers will increase exponentially as well.

3. Will We be Able to Afford One?

Initially, as it is with any new technology, Level 5 self-driving cars might be too costly for most of us. Therefore, the answer mostly depends on who you are and what you earn! Speaking from a general perspective, though, Level 3 and even Level 4 autonomous vehicles will become more affordable by the next decade. Elon Musk (Tesla) thinks that even Level 5 vehicles will become accessible by the year 2040.

4. Level 5 Self-Driving Vehicles Might be Seen Sooner in the Industrial Sector

The main reason fully automated vehicles are not being seen on the road is due to safety hazards. Not all driver, passenger, driver, and pedestrian safety dynamics have yet been calculated and corrected, which is why even Level 4 cars are not easily found on the road, if at all.

On the other hand, off-road, industrial vehicles such as load trucks, mining equipment, etc., must not suffer as much about all that, in the same way, that Australian mining companies currently use uncrewed, autonomous trucks and other equipment for mining operations. We may see the same being implemented with better results, much sooner than mainstream, on-road vehicles.

5. How Are Safe Self-Driving Cars in 2019 – 2020?

This is the central question for many people. The answer is also the reason why full automated self-driven cars are not yet a reality – however. As of now, vehicles with driving assistance, limited automation, and emergency controls make any car a lot safer, but that’s where the line is drawn.

The accident rate of self-driven cars is significantly higher than those of human-driven ones. This is compounded by the fact that autonomous vehicles have had so little exposure to unsafe conditions.

Tesla, in particular, has been the cause of accidents and even deaths caused by self-driven cars. Tesla AV has been officially related to six ends, with four drivers and two being pedestrians. It’s safe to say that the next time you see a driverless car going about its business, it’s best not to test its emergency breaks, especially if it’s a Tesla!

In all fairness, that is precisely why autonomous car engineers, app developers, AI developers, etc., are paid so well in this developing industry. Manufacturers need more fresh minds at the job to iron out those kinks because unless they do, the dream of driverless cars being mainstream cannot be realized.

Self-driving cars will not just be innovations that will change human history forever; they will also change the automotive business itself. Additionally, related, dependent businesses will also branch out from the news industry.

It will create jobs in multiple associated sectors and boost the economy in the process. If you have ever considered automotive/computer/electrical engineering as a career path, ensure that your education prepares you to become a part of this upcoming and inevitable automotive revolution. The fact that it’s still in development makes it the ideal career path to consider.

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What Are Parking Management Systems? What is the Importance?

In this sense, it is necessary to implement a system that allows for better management of parking lots, but what do these systems consist of?




What Are Parking Management Systems What is the Importance

Millions of people lose precious minutes of their time related to their car for two simple reasons. The first one is finding an empty and suitable place to park their vehicle, and the second is traffic that occurs when people are trying to find a space to park their car.

In this sense, it is necessary to implement a system that allows for better management of parking lots, but what do these systems consist of?

1. What is a parking management system?

Parking access security systems make it possible to monitor vehicles that move through different areas and give access to authorized vehicles. These systems restrict entry for those who do not meet the established requirements. This way, control of all users can be achieved, not only in public parking lots but also in private and residential complexes.

Ticketless parking management systems are one example that reduces traffic when cars enter a parking lot. These systems use automatic nameplate recognition (ANPR), which scans a vehicle’s license plate before and after entry to issue the associated parking fee. This reduces the time users will have to sit in their car when gaining access to a parking lot because they don’t need to wait for a ticket. QR-based tickets can also be easily included in these systems if the client wishes.

These parking management systems are beneficial in places that generally work 24 hours a day, such as:

  • Hospitals.
  • Public car parks
  • Ports, railway stations, and airports
  • Leisure centers and hotels
  • Malls

Off street parking solutions


2. ‘Off street’ parking solutions

Applying ‘off street’ parking solutions are an essential aspect nowadays, with street parking becoming more scarce due to the increase in the number of cars. Implementing payment terminals at parking lot exits, which work with QR readers, TFT screen technology, credit card payments, or mechanized readers with magnetic strips, are also a significant financial incentive for property owners to invest in a modern parking access control system.

A modern parking system, commonly applied in some commuter towns, provides comprehensive solutions regarding the management and control of parking lots. By adopting modern parking technology, property owners can have remote capabilities when managing their lot, reducing the number of staff needed and common touchpoints in parking lots during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some advantages that can be enjoyed with modern parking control and management technology are:

  • Reduction in operations costs.
  • Integration with building management and door entry access control systems.
  • Remote, centralized management of the system.
  • Event data allows property owners to optimize the flow of their parking lot, which can also be used for accounting or audits.

With modern parking control systems, there are notable benefits for the property owner and end-users, from cost reduction to time saved when waiting through traffic in a parking lot. Make sure you do your research when choosing your next parking control system.

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