Autonomous Roadways: Collective Perception Allows Vehicles to See More

To combat this issue, Nebot and his team at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, including Dr. Mao Shan and Dr. Stewart Warroll, are developing a system in which autonomous vehicles can communicate with one another. The system is called vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication via intelligent roadside stations. These stations would read and interpret signals from surrounding vehicles and redistribute the information, notifying other cars on the road about upcoming obstacles.

The idea is called “collective perception.” It would give autonomous vehicles a kind of x-ray vision, or spatial infrastructure, that they could use to navigate all obstacles in their general proximity. This technology would benefit all cars on the road, including non-autonomous vehicles, Nebot explains. If a vehicle is non-autonomous but has been detected by the station, then even if it cannot engage with the system, other autonomous vehicles on the road would be able to.