Autonomous Vehicles Project Plan

Autonomous vehicles are here! Well, sorta… Today we have what we could call semi-autonomous vehicles, cars that have some auto-pilot features meaning the driver can take their hands off the wheel for short periods of time and the car itself can merge, self-park, stay within a lane and brake as needed, but they still require user interaction. Fully autonomous vehicles are still years away, but they’re closer than you might think.

Imagine a typical commute to work or school in a world in which fully autonomous cars exist. Actually, don’t do that because with our project we’ll have it all laid out for you. With our website you’ll be immersed in the experience of a day in the life of a fully autonomous vehicle commute. No imagination or thinking on your part required.

Our project will give you a glimpse into the future, a Forecast if you will.

Research:

History and Moving Forward: Autonomous vehicles were a long time coming. The concept of autonomous vehicles started as just an idea in science fiction novels beginning in 1935. Now, look at us. We have cars that can drive themselves. Completely self-driving cars don’t technically exist yet, but someday, consumers will be able to buy a vehicle that would operate in auto-pilot mode and be fully autonomous without a steering wheel, brake or throttle pedals. Some even say fully autonomous cars will be available by the year 2021. This is the world our project will navigate.

Artificial Intelligence: At its core, Artificial Intelligence works through a complex algorithm that mimics the human brain. Artificial Intelligence has the potential for numerous applications on autonomous vehicles such as:

  • Directing the car to a gas station or recharge station when it is running low on fuel.
  • Adjusting the trip’s directions based on known traffic conditions to find the quickest route.
  • Incorporating speech recognition for advanced communication with passengers.
  • Eye tracking for improved driver monitoring.
  • Natural language interfaces and virtual assistance technologies.

Connectivity: Autonomous cars will provide a safer driving experience by eliminating human errors and reducing injuries by transmitting real-time data on weather, traffic and road conditions, as well as communicate with pedestrians, stoplights and other infrastructure. Autonomous cars will expand on existing connectivity such as GPS, wi-fi hotspots, radar and LIDAR to make smarter decisions and provide:

  • Traffic updates and detours
  • Efficient parking and ride-hailing
  • Alerts when other drivers are too close
  • Personalized roadside assistance

Automated Tasks: Autonomous vehicles employ autonomous tasks to make them, well, autonomous. These include, but aren’t limited to: self-driving, self-parking and accident avoidance. Autonomous vehicle technology includes 360º video, a variety of cameras and sensors all over the car exterior and an autonomous, onboard navigation system. However, ethical hurdles exist for autonomous vehicle development. Developers are running into problems programming actions for self-driving cars, such as situations in which harm could occur to passengers and those outside the vehicle. There are significant safety considerations for autonomous vehicles as well. Self-driving cars have been found to prevent accidents and assist drivers in making safer, more precise parking decisions. Drunk driving accidents could be reduced by autonomous vehicles.

The Technology/Website:

Our website will immerse the user in the experience of self driving cars of the future. The user will experience a day in the life with fully autonomous vehicles. The interactive website will personalize the experience for you. The user will select different preferences for their experience (ex. Would you take public transportation, have your own car or use a service like Uber or Lyft? Do you have a family or are you single? Will you live in an urban or rural environment?) and our website will showcase the experience one will have with self driving cars in the future.

The Plan:

Forecast is obviously a prediction of the future with self-driving cars. It’s not a prophecy or 100% accurate. The future could be a completely different experience than our portrayal on our interactive website, however, we want our user to know a possible future based on our research, speculation and imagination.

Schedule:

Feb. 7–14 : Work on and finish wireframe, start early draft of project website

Feb. 14–21: Finish up early draft of project website and peer evaluations one

Feb. 28-Mar. 15: Work on project beta of live website

Mar. 16-30: Work and finish project blog post, project website rough draft, and peer evaluations two. Finish project beta of live website. Start working on presentation elements immediately after.

Mar. 31- Apr. 25: Work on and finish operational project, one-pager/takeaway, project poster, project website, project promo. Continue practice for SLAM presentation. Must all be final.

Apr. 29: SLAM!!!

Obstacles:

Project is very conceptual so it’s difficult to have a concrete technology or product.

Solution: ideas/concepts will have to be very detailed and well thought out in order to be presented as a project

The gang lacks knowledge of advanced coding skills making the construction of the live website difficult

Solution: Using website templates; getting help from John outside of class/during office hours; self learn (the internet is a wonderful thing)

Producing visuals may be difficult ex. we can’t actually get video of a fully autonomous vehicle because they don’t exist yet

Solution: Use alternatives ways to visualize like animation or getting video of the semi autonomous vehicles we have today

Goals:

Reach: Website will be interactive with cool animations of a user experience and will clearly depict what life will be like in a future of fully autonomous vehicles.

Main: Realistically, we’ll probably have a website with some interactive features and minimal animation, but with awesome photos and video with our concepts explained clearly.

Safety: A website without interactive features or animation that basically lays out what the experience will be like with fully autonomous cars but in a way that isn’t as cool.

The Gang:

A fourth-year journalism and international affairs major
A fourth-year advertising major
A third-year journalism major
A fourth-year public relations major