Autonomous Car Tech Can Spot Hidden Objects on the Road


Photo by: George Hodan via Public Domain Pictures


Researchers from Stanford University have created an autonomous car technology that can spot hidden objects.

The researchers claimed that the technology can be installed into an autonomous vehicle to improve the safety of the car. They considered an instance when a self-driving car is about to make a turn on a neighborhood street but a child’s ball suddenly rolled. With the use of the technology the car can automatically stop to avoid the object, “although no person in the car can see that ball,” said the team.

The university shared that the reason why the technology can avoid the hidden object is that it reflects off the nearest object and sees the corners. It also uses lasers that capture the images of said objects.

The Stanford researchers explained that although they primarily implemented the laser technology for the use of an autonomous car, it can also potentially be used by rescue teams and in aerial vehicles. The technology can help rescue teams locate victims of a national disaster.

Electrical engineering assistant professor and study author Gordon Wetzstein said that it may sound like magic, but the concept of “non-line-of-sight imaging” is feasible.

Although the researchers admit that it is not the first time that this type of technology was introduced, they developed theirs with an “extremely efficient” algorithm so that it will refine the results.