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YOU CARRY ME … COMPUTER

They used to do it: they took a car, put a computer on it … Now the approach is different - they attach a motor and wheels to the computer.

Alexander BUDKIN, Denis BOROVITSKY, Alexey VOROBYEV-OBUKHOV

It seems that in the well-known triangle "man-car-road" it is precisely Homo sapiens that becomes the weakest point. Either he is distracted by conversations, then he will overturn a glass or two, then he will forget the Rules. And therefore … "will you let me go out?" Super-reliable ultra-fast electronic brains, not burdened with the same 80-pound body weight, are preparing to take a seat behind the wheel. (Won't they read our magazine in the future?)

Mercedes-Benz took the first step by installing the Distronic system in its S-class, which automatically maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front. She already knows how to distinguish the image of the "leading", as well as act on the gas and brake pedals. And why not teach the computer to distinguish between traffic signs and traffic signals crossing the street of careless pedestrians? And in the experimental car two video eyes spaced 30 cm apart appeared.

Perhaps no driver can boast of such a "stereo base", and therefore the accuracy of determining the distance to objects. Well, to see something, the computer sees it, but we still have to grab all kinds of billboards from the breakthrough, which are generously lined with modern city streets, real road signs, and traffic signals from a sea of ​​neon lights. Just imagine the necessary amount of memory of a supercomputer, where all possible variants of objects essential for road traffic, as well as the dynamic characteristics of such a natural phenomenon as a pedestrian, are located!

So far, as you can see in the pictures, the electronic assistant only studies and gives the processed information to the display. The test driver drives the car, and highlighted signs and traffic signals appear on the screen, pedestrians scurrying in front of the hood. Yes, warning signals are given when, according to the computer, there is a danger of an accident: the distance is violated, the red light is ignored, a maneuver prohibited by the sign is performed. If the computer is wrong, then the driver enters the appropriate adjustments.

What is the state of affairs today? All traffic signs and traffic lights, including markings and curbs, are completely determined at a distance of 30-40 m. The result is simply fantastic: after all, say, the same traffic light must be distinguished from the brake light in front of a traveling car, but it is also red and can be round . And the signs! On billboards you will be charged with this - try to figure it out. (In any case, in our conditions with periodically disappearing markings, signs from the “Stop blooper” section and non-burning traffic lights, the superbugging supertechnology will not go beyond the first intersection.)

As for pedestrians … Thank God, they are the same everywhere. The computer first estimates the size of the object, then analyzes its contours (this stage is just visible in the photo) and, finally, examines the nature of the movement. The latter, by the way, is the simplest: the characteristic movement of the legs of a walking person causes an equally characteristic shape of the electronic signal, which allows the system to make an unambiguous conclusion in 95% of cases in just 5 milliseconds! The remaining five percent, apparently, carry large bags or suitcases, which will protect them in case of emergency. This, of course, is a joke, but seriously, it may not be in vain that the fashion for the Internet in a car has gone. Today, he is undoubtedly a factor distracting the driver, and tomorrow, you see, he will not let him fall asleep in the back seat, while the car, pushing through traffic jams, takes him, warm, to his native home.