Volvo Car Group has recently concluded a research conducted to see if it can devise a system that would allow simple and fast self-positioning of the future self-driving cars.
The research project uses magnets embedded in the roadway to assist the car in accurately determining its position and was financed in co-operation with the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) – and could prove a key asset in helping with the smooth implementation of automated cars.
“The magnets create an invisible ‘railway’ that literally paves the way for a positioning inaccuracy of less than one decimeter. We have tested the technology at a variety of speeds and the results so far are promising,” says Jonas Ekmark, Preventive Safety Leader at Volvo Car Group. “Our aim is for the car to be able to handle the driving all by itself. Accurate, reliable positioning is a necessary prerequisite for a self-driving car,” he further explains.
The magnet system addresses the fact that currently established positioning technologies such as GPS and cameras have certain limitations in certain conditions and is part of Volvo’s integral effort into the research of autonomous driving. As part of the effort, Volvo also has a large-scale autonomous driving pilot project that sees 100 Volvo cars using self-driving technology partake in public traffic around the Swedish city of Gothenburg.