2012 DARPA CHALLENGE
When designing an autonomous vehicle, navigation is the key factor. First an autonomous vehicle must be able to locate and since obstacles it will encounter. The design of our vehicle must require the integrations of many sensors, actuators, controller, and software for all the devices to work together. Having a team of mechanics, electrical engineers, computer engineers, and computer sciences is a must. Also having knowledge of electronics, sensors, and microcontrollers to help guide our vehicle though the unknown obstacles and terrain. (Dr. Pushkin Kachroo, 2005) If we can keep our vehicle going an average speed of 17.5 mph though out the course, we will be able to finish the challenge in the required time. Assuming a lot of the road will be higher-quality dirt our vehicle should be able to run faster than the average speed before hitting the mountain passes. This will allow more time to navigate more process cornets in the mountain terrain. (Stewark) The disadvantages of not knowing the route 2 hours before is that you don’t know what obstacle’s that the vehicle will encounter. The strategies that you come up with is to plan for the unknown, and try to come up with what if it encounters random terrain, such as a cliff or a bolder, that it can’t climb. There are many things that could cause catastrophic failure like a blown tire or breaking a drive shaft. There is also software failure like the GPS losing the data that has been input. There is also the program that runs the gas and the other mechanical hardware. Most of the bugs for these systems can be avoided in the testing phases but that does not mean that you can plan for all outcomes.
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