18 Mar '17, 10pm

Self-Driving Cars Have a Bicycle Problem

Robotic cars are great at monitoring other cars, and they’re getting better at noticing pedestrians, squirrels, and birds. The main challenge, though, is posed by the lightest, quietest, swerviest vehicles on the road. “Bicycles are probably the most difficult detection problem that autonomous vehicle systems face,” says UC Berkeley research engineer Steven Shladover . Nuno Vasconcelos , a visual computing expert at the University of California, San Diego, says bikes pose a complex detection problem because they are relatively small, fast and heterogenous. “A car is basically a big block of stuff. A bicycle has much less mass and also there can be more variation in appearance — there are more shapes and colors and people hang stuff on them.” That’s why the detection rate for cars has outstripped that for bicycles in recent years. Most of the improvement has come from techn...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/transportation/self-driving/self...

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