The discover of a new enemy of autonomous cars: Solar storms

The discover of a new enemy of autonomous cars: Solar storms

We add a new tick to the list of threats of autonomous cars. Until now we had:

Snow is a problem faced by autonomous cars in Russia. You do not need to be an expert in autonomous driving to know that cars that drive alone do so thanks to a lot of sensors that, among other things, read the lines of the road to know when they should go straight and when they have to turn . The problem is that the snow hides these signals and the autonomous vehicles become blind or illiterate, as you want to say.

The tunnels. The CNN news agency recently published information in which it explained that the experts in autonomous driving assure that the car washes are enemies of the autonomous cars and, as proof, it counted that Avis, company in charge of the care of the autonomous cars of Waymo, has faced works in several of its offices to change the washing tunnels for spaces in which their workers can clean the vehicles that lead alone in the old way: with bucket of water, rag and soap.

Some colors. A study published PPG (company dedicated to the manufacture and sale of paints) concludes that the color of the body affects the proper functioning of autonomous cars. Apparently, vehicles painted in black and gray absorb much more light than whites and this interferes with the way in which the infrared signals emitted by the sensors of autonomous cars are returned. Bad news, considering that black and gray are among the colors of cars that are sold the most in Spain.

The salt. It turns out that a handful of salt is enough to force an autonomous car to stop.

Solar storms can drive the autonomous cars crazy

Bloomberg has submitted a report in which he claims that solar storms cause a massive increase in geomagnetic activity and radiation. This for cars that run without a driver can be a danger because their operation depends, to a great extent, on the connection between a GPS system and the satellites that could be cut with the storm.

But that no one be alarmed. The same report points out that there are systems to prevent storms from affecting the autonomous cars excessively. Bloomberg refers to a satellite placed a million miles from Earth and that warns of the arrival of solar storms between 30 and 60 minutes before they hit the planet.

Another reason for tranquility is that solar storms are not too frequent: the last was recorded in 2014.