Driverless vehicles use lasers, cameras, computer processors and software, radar, GPS and lidar (light detection and ranging) devices to create and constantly update a 3D map of their surroundings. Self-driving car companies also use artificial intelligence and machine learning to program the vehicles to learn from their experiences and act more like human drivers.
Data for the graphic are as follows:
|Component||Description of How It Functions|
|Vision System||High-resolution cameras with a 360-degree view work at long range and in low light.|
|Lidar||Emits millions of laser pulses each second and measures how long each takes to reflect off a surface and return.|
|Radar||Radio waves track the speed of other objects around the vehicle.|
|Supplemental Sensors||GPS helps the vehicle pinpoint its location; an audio detection system “hears” emergency sirens hundreds of feet away.|
|Onboard Computer||Software uses machine learning to predict how objects on the road will behave; a secondary computer can stop the vehicle if the main computer fails.|