As reported by the company press office, the StarLine smart driverless car has completed the 2500 km St Petersburg-Kazan route. Residents of 14 Russian cities and the participants of two international events have taken part in the test-drive. Hundreds of social network users have watched live broadcasts and news about the course of the research experiment of StarLine.
The vehicle managed to reach a speed of approximately 80 km/h during its journey. Thereby, the hypothesis of the developers as to the driverless car can travel faster than 40 km/h, which was the maximum velocity set during the test-drive at Crimean bridge previously, has been proven.
“During the journey, the system has operated stably and reliably, successfully coping with the poor quality of the markings, in their temporary absence or at single lane traffic” – said Boris Ivanov, the director of the Smart Driverless Car StarLine project.
It should be noted that two automated control modes are implemented in the third autonomy level StarLine smart driverless vehicles. The first being the active lane control. StarLine detects the traffic situation, determines the lane using the vision system and the control system calculates the route and directs the vehicle along it. Video cameras and radars serve as sensors in this mode.
“The second mode of autonomous control, which is currently being improved, allows the driverless car to travel in the absence of markings, in adverse weather conditions and on urban roads with a large amount of interference and unforeseen hazards” – continued Boris Ivanov.
StarLine developers are currently creating a highly accurate road map with waypoints that are generated according to the principle of the GPS navigators to improve the operation of the automatic control system. The location of the vehicle on the map is determined by a high-precision satellite navigation receiver, inertial navigation system and odometry.
Cruising along the predetermined route, the vehicle constantly analyses the circumstances around it, recognises obstacles and makes decisions accordingly. A vision system, light detectors and radars are used in order to perceive the surroundings.
“Currently, the vehicle travels without road maps or a planned route along its destination. The system needs operator interference, if it’s necessary to change the direction of the vehicle on junctions, entry and exits from motorways and other maneuvers. We have collected data for the creation of road maps and the automatisation of the route during the journey, in order to solve the problem” – said Andrei Alexeev, the development engineer of the project.
The operator has driven the unmanned vehicle on the most difficult sections of the city traffic, to ensure road safety.