The AI that could help prevent accidents between self-driving cars and cyclists
Published on: Monday, December 27, 2021
By: Malay Mail, ETX Studio
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Argo AI is working to ensure that its autonomous vehicles ‘communicate’ as effectively as possible with the cyclists they might encounter. — Picture courtesy of Argo AI
SAN FRANCISCO: Argo AI, a startup specialising in the development of autonomous driving systems, is working on creating an artificial intelligence system specially designed to avoid collisions with cyclists. To achieve this, it will have to learn all the behaviors of these often unpredictable road users.

As part of its autonomous driving research, Argo AI has released a set of technical guidelines it is using to ensure that its autonomous cars can operate safely for cyclists. The guidelines were developed with the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), a bicycle advocacy organisation, and are intended to serve as a basis for work and improvement at Argo AI, and, more broadly, for all companies involved in developing autonomous driving.  

Argo AI is working on autonomous driving technology to make city driving safer for everyone, including cyclists and pedestrians. Together, Argo AI and the League of American Bicyclists have defined six technical guidelines on how an autonomous driving system should detect and anticipate the behaviour of nearby cyclists in a safe and effective manner.

Because of their unique behaviour on the road, compared to motorcycles or mopeds, for example, cyclists should be perceived and treated differently from other road users by the car’s internal autonomous driving system. This should be able to associate these distinct users with a diverse set of imagery and behaviors specific to cyclists, while taking into account the different shapes and sizes of bikes on the road today (cargo bikes, recumbent bikes, etc.).

The system will have to “learn” the various potential movements (lane changes, rapid lateral movements to avoid obstacles such as a car door opening, etc.), in order to be able to predict, in real time, their possible reactions and in turn prepare the actions of the self-driving vehicle as effectively as possible. It goes without saying that infrastructure specific to cyclists must also be modeled in 3D and integrated into the system.

The next step for Argo AI will be to set up a whole series of tests. These will first be virtual, simulating real-life scenarios in the virtual world to test a wide variety of situations in complete safety. Then will come physical testing, first on a closed circuit to validate the various simulations.

Argo AI is an automated vehicle driving technology company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company is developing self-driving technology in partnership with leading automakers, including Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group. 

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