Cruise consistently posts updates on the progress of its Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle through its Medium page, sharing the secrets of how its engineers are working to create the world’s first driverless ridesharing service. In the General Motors subsidiary’s latest Medium post, Sensor Simulation Engineering Manager at Cruise, Rico Stenson, explains how his team uses advanced new software to speed up the development of the Cruise Origin.
One of the main ways that Cruise uses simulation software is to determine where to place the cameras, radar and LiDAR sensors on the Origin. The company has accurately modeled the field of view and distortion of the cameras it uses on the Origin, along with the field of view, range and point cloud distribution of its radars and beam distribution and intensity of its LiDARs. As Stenson explains in the post, these simulated sensors “have been refined with rigorous physical evaluation of real-world sensor data to cover any unexpected anomalies,” and allow Cruise to continuously develop the Origin without always having to use a real vehicle.
Stenson says Cruise can use this software to try different cameras on the origin with greater or different fields of view or better coverage of a unique area around the vehicle. Similarly, it can also help determine ideal radar placement for driving at highway speed and simulate different LiDARs with different beam patterns and unique orientations. Finding the ideal combination of camera, radar and LiDAR coverage is important, as it gives the vehicle eyes in the back and sides of its head, Stenson says, and will enable it to safely perform difficult maneuvers on busy roads.
Simulation software such as this not only speeds up the development of upcoming autonomous vehicles like the Cruise Origin, but also saves money by negating the need to produce physical hardware. Additionally, such software adds flexibility into the production process, allowing Cruise to try out different radar, LiDAR and cameras without having to go actually out and purchase and install them.
Read Stenson’s complete Medium post at this link to learn more about how Cruise is leveraging simulation software to help make its vision of all-electric, self-driving city transportation a reality.