Jump to content
Create New...
  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Crummy Weather May Pose Big Issues for Self-Driving Cars

      A light sprinkle could cause some major headaches for self-driving vehicles

    Developing autonomous vehicles in sunny, dry locales like Phoenix, Arizona has proven to be difficult due to numerous variables such as traffic and human behavior. But an upcoming study from Michigan State University reveals that autonomous technologies still have a number of hurdles as testing begins in areas with changing conditions.

    Automotive News had the chance to speak with Hayder Radha, an MSU professor of electrical and computer engineering who oversaw the upcoming study. The findings reveal that the algorithms that are used to distill the various bits of information coming from the cameras and radar/lidar sensors have issues when it lightly rains.

    "When we run these algorithms, we see very noticeable, tangible degradation in detection. Even low-intensity rain can really create some serious problems, and as you increase the intensity, the performance of what we consider state-of-the-art mechanisms can almost become paralyzed," said Radha.

    "Once you throw in a few drops of rain, they get confused. It's like putting eyedrops in your eye and expecting to see right away."

    Researchers looked at various parameters in their study, including the size of the raindrops and the effect of wind. Using a scale that ranged from a clear day to a major downpour, the study revealed that algorithms failed to detect as much "as 20 percent of objects when the rain intensity was 10 percent of the worst-case scenario." This increased to 40 percent when the intensity of the rain increased to 30 percent.

    Other weather-related issues that were revealed in MSU's study,

    • The high-resolution maps that autonomous systems to determine their location may need to be updated due to the changing seasons.
      • "You can imagine in environments where there are a lot of leaves on trees or on shrubs close to the road, they are an essential part of the map. So summer and winter are completely different. When they fall down in winter, you have nothing to work with. So that tells you that for this technology to be robust, it needs to be developed in different conditions than you see only in Arizona and Silicon Valley," explained Radha.
    • Cold temperatures play havoc with lidar sensors. The study reveals that the amount of "poor-quality or irrelevant returns from lidar sensors" increased as if the temperature was at 10 degrees Fahrenheit or less.

    Some of these issues can be addressed by getting more information from radar and lidar as engineers develop various ways to use them to classify objects. But Radha explains the big improvements will come when self-driving tech is tested in other locations such as Michigan and Pittsburgh to name a couple.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    I was actually recently just talking about this with somebody. I don't remember if it was here or with a coworker, lol.

    It's relatively easy to follow GPS, lines, cars, and even searching for people crossing roads but inclement weather sounds like a whole 'nother ball game. How will they handle snow and heavy rain?? 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    2 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    It's relatively easy to follow GPS, lines, cars, and even searching for people crossing roads but inclement weather sounds like a whole 'nother ball game. How will they handle snow and heavy rain?? 

    FLIR, or other imaging radar?  Something infrared or other? 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    11 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    I was actually recently just talking about this with somebody. I don't remember if it was here or with a coworker, lol.

    It's relatively easy to follow GPS, lines, cars, and even searching for people crossing roads but inclement weather sounds like a whole 'nother ball game. How will they handle snow and heavy rain?? 

    Hello just think of how messy Sleet is, freezing rain, what ever you want to call it. Weather is another game all together.

    • Agree 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    10 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Hello just think of how messy Sleet is, freezing rain, what ever you want to call it. Weather is another game all together.

    Absolutely! I cannot imagine the kink in the hose this is causing automakers to sort through. 

    I actually think sensing animals or humans crossing the road is easier to identify and avoid than the surface of the road or standing water. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    2 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    Or random pedestrians.   Maybe need blades or a fin on the front like old locomotives to clear the path. 

    Or just collect them up to make Soylent Green! :scratchchin:

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • google-news-icon.png



  • Community Hive Community Hive

    Community Hive allows you to follow your favorite communities all in one place.

    Follow on Community Hive
  • google-news-icon.png

  • Subscribe to Cheers & Gears

    Cheers and Gears Logo

    Since 2001 we've brought you real content and honest opinions, not AI-generated stuff with no feeling or opinions influenced by the manufacturers.

    Please consider subscribing. Subscriptions can be as little as $1.75 a month, and a paid subscription drops most ads.*
     

    You can view subscription options here.

    *a very limited number of ads contain special coupon deals for our members and will show

  • Similar Content

  • Posts

    • Lets correct one thing! HONDA DID NOT install their own hardware / software!!! They are using the same Android Auto Controller system that I have posted about here in other stories as GM. The difference is they took the full Android Software with Android Auto and Apple Carplay and customized the look to look like Honda, but just like Hyundai/Kia/Genesis which is using the same Snapdragon QUALCOMM Controller/Software stack, they took the safe route of making it Look Honda but a solid established auto system. GM FAILED here in that they want to control the Dollars, so they turned off the Android Auto / Apple Carplay and stores and created their own using the API SDK for the same hardware set. This is where they failed to test and truly deliver an experience on par to the Android Auto / Apple Carplay system that we all love. Ford and GM will fall behind as I feel those auto companies that bring out their auto system supporting what the public is used too and share the money with Google will win over trying to keep the 100% to themselves when they are so far behind in the software development system. GM is going to have a hard time keeping up with Google and the updates they do to the Android Auto system that supports both cell phone formats. Google and Apple are too far ahead I fear for GM or Ford to catch up. IMHO Honda is also failing in their conservative approach as people do not want to wait and the slower charge speed is not a good way to introduce your customers to EVs. GM on the other hand is also failing as they give maximum charging speed to Cadillac and much slower across their other product lines. Since charging speed at home and on the road are real valid concerns, GM can win sales by having the best charging speed available on ALL MODELS from ALL BRANDS.
    • Who would have thought that Honda could make a better Blazer than Chevy?  https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/2024-honda-prologue-ev-first-drive-review/ "Here again we ask you don't get ahead of us. You may have heard about the software problems Chevy is having with the Blazer EV, particularly its new CarPlay-free infotainment system. None of that applies to the Prologue. Honda has installed its own hardware and software, and yes, it not only keeps CarPlay and Android Auto but also makes them standard and wireless to boot. On top of that, it'll project Apple Maps in the instrument cluster if you want, though frustratingly not Google Maps for those who prefer it. ... Not only does it ride better than the Chevy, but it still handles sweetly. The Prologue sweeps around curves with a natural fluidity that's as appreciated as it is unexpected. It leans on its springs and dampers in the controlled and deliberate way the best sports cars do. Again, it doesn't encourage you to drive it like a sports car, it just makes a nice backroad drive more pleasant. ... On the other hand, Honda has derated charging to a peak speed of 150 kW while the Chevy and Cadillac pull 190 kW. As a result, the Prologue needs 35 minutes to charge from 20 percent to 80 percent on a fast charger, which is already uncompetitive before you consider that most automakers report 10 percent to 80 percent charging time, where the Prologue will take even longer. Honda says this was done to ensure battery longevity, which means it either knows something GM doesn't about GM's battery or it's just being conservative. ... At $48,795 to start, it's way cheaper than its $56,715 Chevy cousin at the moment (we don't know what the front-drive Blazer EV will cost, yet) and right on top of a Tesla Model Y Dual-Motor Long Range (rear-drive Teslas are a few thousand dollars cheaper but get a smaller battery and only 260 miles of range). For that price, you get wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic dual-zone climate control, HondaSensing safety tech, heated front seats, all the built-in Google features, automatic LED headlights and high-beams, the full-size instrument cluster and infotainment screens, heated mirrors, and a wireless phone charger. Oh, and 296 miles of range."
    • Good to hear because they are pretty awful for what you're getting. I'm sure they're all great overall vehicles between performance and available luxuries but they just look so bad. 
    • I think I saw that an exec at M-B was commenting about future M-B EVs have to look like M-B cars and not look like jelly beans.  I think they realize they went too far.  
    • There are some people who do speak like this.  There used to be a lot more of them!  Goofy little song.
  • Who's Online (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
  • My Clubs

×
×
  • Create New...

Hey there, we noticed you're using an ad-blocker. We're a small site that is supported by ads or subscriptions. We rely on these to pay for server costs and vehicle reviews.  Please consider whitelisting us in your ad-blocker, or if you really like what you see, you can pick up one of our subscriptions for just $1.75 a month or $15 a year. It may not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way to help support real, honest content, that isn't generated by an AI bot.

See you out there.

Drew
Editor-in-Chief

Write what you are looking for and press enter or click the search icon to begin your search