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E pluribus unum

  • Magazine Feature Article
  • 15AUTP02_02
Published February 01, 2015 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Inputs from many sensors are being combined to give safety systems a true vision of vehicle surroundings, with the resulting sensor fusion becoming a mainstay of autonomous vehicle electronics.

Inputs from radar, cameras, and other sensors that are already improving safety and convenience are being merged into holistic images that will pave the way for autonomous driving. When input from many sensors is combined, systems can more easily determine how to respond to ever-changing environments.

Sensors have strengths and weaknesses, so fusing inputs into a single image helps systems avoid false positives and better understand surrounding conditions. Design teams are exploring a range of architectural strategies to maximize the deployment of a growing number of sensors. While many system design tradeoffs are being examined, there's general agreement that multiple inputs need to be combined to get the best results.