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Self-Driving Car To-Do List


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Autonomous cars must be able to do four things, says Karl-Heinz Glander, who heads integrated active/passive safety technologies at TRW Automotive.

Self-driving systems must detect their surroundings, analyze their environment for dangers, navigate where to go and operate the vehicle's braking, steering and accelerator accordingly.

Such systems can assist or take control of the vehicle if the driver is distracted or incapacitated, or handle driving tasks continuously when prompted. Either way, Glander points out, sensors act as the vehicle's eyes and ears, computers provide the decision-making capacity, and actuators serve as the "arms and legs" to pilot the vehicle.

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