Webinar on Autonomous Vehicle and ICT

UTAR organised a webinar titled "Autonomous Vehicle and ICT" on 21 May 2021 via Google Meet. Invited to share at the webinar was UTAR International Collaborative Partner (ICP) Prof Dr Park Sung Kwon, who is the dean of the College of Engineering at Hanyang University. Moderating the webinar was Assoc Prof Ts Dr Lau Phooi Yee, a lecturer from the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (FICT).

Prof Park’s webinar focused on several main topics, namely Introduction of Autonomous Vehicles, Vehicle of the Future, Overview of Autonomous Vehicle, Vehicle Communication, and A New Culture after Autonomous Vehicle.

Prof Park introducing the concept of Autonomous Vehicles

Prof Park started his webinar by introducing the concept of Autonomous Vehicles, “Autonomous Vehicles have been dreamt by almost all human beings since vehicles were invented 200 years ago. Autonomous Vehicles require so much advancement in sensors, localisation, and information technologies including artificial intelligence. There has been so much advancement and development in autonomous vehicles and industry worldwide.”

He added, “Autonomous Vehicles will generate a $7trillion annual revenue stream by the year 2050. Widespread adoption of Autonomous Vehicles could lead to a 90% reduction in vehicle crashes. Besides, the electric vehicle sales will surpass internal combustion vehicle in the year 2036.”

Prof Park then moved on to share the different types of future vehicles. There are four types of future vehicles, namely Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Electric Vehicles (EV), Hydrogen Vehicles (HV) and Autonomous Vehicles (AV).

After showing the four types of future vehicles, he explained, “Hybrid Electric Vehicles improve the combined fuel efficiency by more than 50%. EV do not have an internal combustion engine and transmission, this makes the mechanical parts very simple. Although EV seem to contribute to the environment, it is potentially controversial. HV should be called a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle; it does not burn hydrogen but run with electricity through an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the air. The exhaust will thus be pure water, and there are no harmful gas emission and no batteries, so it is the most suitable vehicle for an eco-friendly environment. The core technology of AV, on the other hand, is to go to the destination by itself without the driver’s intervention.”

Prof Park showing the projection of electric cars 20 years from now

The five levels of automation by the Society of Automotive Engineers

The core elements of Autonomous Vehicles

Prof Park then spoke about vehicle communications, “There is a network that connects various Electronic Control Units (ECUs) inside the vehicle. There are more than 100 ECUs in recent luxury vehicles and it is expected to increase to hundreds per vehicle. Until recently, the most commonly used In-vehicle Network (IVN) in the world is Controlled Area Network (CAN), but the bandwidth is at the level of 1Mbps.”

Prof Park explaining the types of vehicle connectivity encompassing Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communications

Nearing the end of the webinar, Prof Park discussed about a new culture after autonomous vehicle, he enthused, “When autonomous vehicles are introduced, car-sharing service will become the new culture, since most of the private cars are currently standing in the parking lot and the car ownership culture is expected to change significantly with car-sharing services. The demand for taxis, buses, truck drivers and proxy drivers will be greatly reduced; only apps and service vehicles that call unmanned taxi services will remain. Besides, real estate prices are also expected to adjust significantly. It is predicted that the need for underground parking lots of apartment and building will be greatly reduced.”

He concluded, “The spread of electric or hydrogen vehicles will be faster in Europe than in the United States as this is due to the European environmental regulation. AVs are expected to be quite common within five to ten years with advances in Artificial intelligence (AI), sensor technology and positioning technologies and it is known that Apple and Sony self-driving cars are also under development. In AVs, the importance of software is being emphasised and the interior of the self-driving car is expected to reborn as a space for rest, media consumption and business.”

The webinar then saw an active interaction between the speaker and the participants. The talk ended with an extensive yet insightful Q&A session.

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