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Automated vehicle can ‘see’ up to 30m in fog

The Finnish robot car, Marilyn, has better vision than humans in poor weather conditions

15 Jun 2018 by Selina Powell

Scientists report that automated vehicles are a step closer towards 24/7 driving with the development of a robot car that can continue moving in heavy fog and snow.

Finnish scientists have highlighted that VTT’s robot car, Marilyn, has enhanced vision through a lidar sensor mounted on the vehicle’s roof.

The sensor works in a similar manner to a radar but uses light from a laser for detection instead of radio waves.

This allows the vehicle to ‘see’ wavelengths that are beyond human senses.

Project manager, Matti Kutila, of VTT’s RobotCar Crew team, highlighted that Marilyn is able to continue driving in heavy fog.

“Marilyn will drive through a bank of fog created in a tent, which is so thick that the passengers cannot see through it. After passing through the chamber, the car will automatically avoid an obstacle in front, in this case a dummy,” he shared.

As well as lidar technology, the vehicle uses traditional automative radars to optimise the best aspects of the different sensors.

“We still have a long way to go on the journey towards 24/7 automated driving, but we are now a big leap closer to achieving our dream,” Mr Kutila concluded. 

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