March 1, 2022
Neural Propulsion Systems, which develops autonomous sensing platforms, has issued a paper that says compelling new innovations enable vehicles with or without human supervision to see enough, clear enough and far enough to eliminate roadway deaths. Many believe that achieving zero roadway deaths is necessary for universal adoption of autonomous driving.
The whitepaper, by Behrooz Rezvani, Babak Hassibi, and Lawrence Burns, can be downloaded here. It suggests that zero deaths require sensing and processing a peak data rate on the order of 10 terabits per second (100 x 1012 bits per second) for vehicles to safely operate under the worst roadway conditions. The paper said this immense requirement is 10 million times greater than the sensory data rate from our eyes to our brains.
The paper said that sensing and processing 100 Tbps can be accomplished by combining breakthrough analytics, advanced multi-band radar, solid-state lidar, and advanced system-on-a-chip (SoC) technologies. This approach will allow companies developing advanced human driver assistance systems (ADAS) and fully autonomous driving systems to accelerate their progress.
NPS said it achieved pilot scale proof-of-concept of the core sensor element required for zero roadway deaths at a Northern California airfield in December 2021. This was achieved with the Atomic Norm, a recently discovered mathematical framework that radically changes how sensor data is processed and understood. Atomic Norm was developed at Caltech and MIT, and further developed specifically for autonomous driving by NPS.
“Based on principles from physics and information theory, it is possible for sensors to see well enough to enable zero deaths. This is not wishful thinking – it’s possible today,” said Behrooz Rezvani, founder and CEO of NPS. “We are solely focused on rolling out this historic technology that sees everything sooner, clearer and farther to provide autonomous vehicles with the stopping distance and time needed to reach zero preventable accidents. Henry Ford said his goal was for every working family to own a car. Our goal is to have nobody lose a loved one in a car crash.”
“While roadway safety has improved over the past several decades, all countries continue to face formidable challenges,” said Lawrence Burns, executive advisor to NPS. “Today, roadway accidents account for over 1.3 million fatalities and 50 million injuries per year, with half being pedestrians and cyclists. We now have the vehicle sensing and processing technology to see well enough to enable an end to this epidemic.”