The Importance of Timing to Autonomous Vehicle Navigation

John Fischer

Abstract: What do a driverless car, a guided missile, and a spacecraft all have in common? They all are being autopiloted to their destination. Autopilot systems have been around for over 50 years, but advances in sensors and processing power in recent years have been huge, leading to very complex guidance systems. We all can understand the importance of GPS navigation for autonomous guidance, but what about timing? In a closed loop control systems, which is what an autopilot system is, precisely synchronizing the motion actuators and compensating for sensor and processing delays is paramount to ensuring a stable and agile trajectory. In this presentation, we will examine the technology challenges in synchronizing multiple components in an autopilot system and the important of precision time. We will cover the traditional factors of precise time in closed loop control systems but also some of the more recent challenges facing today’s designers: • Variable delays in feature detection in vision systems • The driverless car’s interaction with human drivers and human response times • Crowd source positioning via proximity detection on wireless networks and the dynamics of time synchronization on those networks
Published in: Proceedings of the 2016 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation
January 25 - 28, 2016
Hyatt Regency Monterey
Monterey, California
Pages: 1 - 22
Cite this article: Fischer, John, "The Importance of Timing to Autonomous Vehicle Navigation," Proceedings of the 2016 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation, Monterey, California, January 2016, pp. 1-22.
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