Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bikes: The Self-Driving Car's Biggest Problem

A lot of people are really looking forward to when they can buy a self-driving car. And the echnology involved in them is amazing. They not only drive themselves, but no when to stop to avoid hitting other cars, pedestrians, birds and even squirrels. Bicycles though, are another issue.

According to Spectrum, autonomous vehicle researchers say bikes are the most difficult to detect because they are relatively small, fast and heterogenous, meaning they don't have a lot of mass and can vary in appearance as people attach strollers or hang things off of them. They are also much less predictable because they can make sudden turns or jump out of nowhere.

Data shows that autonomous vehicle technology identifies approximately 89 percent of cars. Yet it could only spot 74 percent of bikes in testing. Technology is improving though and visual processing of roadways is being augmented with laser-scanning imagery and radar sensing, which helps cars to "see" that there is an object in the roadway, even they can't identify what it is.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.