It is widely believed that autonomous cars will contribute to reducing the number of road accidents. They will be less unreliable than the drivers of flesh and blood and will comply with traffic regulations. However, recently we have been dealing with a situation in which the test autonomous vehicle detected red light and despite that it passed through the intersection. Fortunately, it was empty and nothing happened to anyone. Why a car equipped with modern electronics did not react?
Autonomous cars are equipped with advanced sensors and sets of cameras that analyze everything that happens on the road. However, separate systems interpret the information received and make the right decision. One of the tasks is to recognize road signs and traffic lights. It would seem that modern autonomous cars should not have problems with the correct analysis of road signs or the reaction to red light. However, the Mobileye car, which is now Intel, went through a red light during a press event.
1/ This is a #Mobileye autonomous car, in a test drive yesterday, failing to stop at red light – and going straight ahead.
The company, bought last year by Intel for 15bn dollars, invited @news10 tech correspondent, @TalShorrer, to show him the car's abilities. (cont.) pic.twitter.com/R1FivtKQpr
— חדשות עשר (@news10) May 17, 2018
Mobileye explained what happened during the organized show
Amnon Shashua (CEO of Mobileye) stated that the failure of the autonomous car system was caused by wireless transmitters of journalist cameras. The computer detected red light. However, the system assumed that it should receive a signal coming from a transponder installed in traffic lights. Unfortunately, transmitters of wireless TV cameras interfered the traffic lights signal. The company already fixed this error. The new software works in such a way that the car will make decisions based on the images recorded by the cameras installed in it.
Mobileye carries out tests of its autonomous cars under rather difficult conditions. Test drives take place in Jerusalem, where many drivers do not comply with traffic regulations, which leads to surprising situations on the road. That’s why the company belonging to Intel decided to build a system using only cameras. Tested cars do not use radar and lasers to study the surroundings. Automotive corporations have already become interested in developed systems. Among them are BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Mobileye intends at the later stage of its work to equip its autonomous cars with additional sensors increasing safety, However, at this stage of work, it intends to develop a system based on cameras.