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ANSYS BLOG

April 20, 2022

What Does the Future of Autonomous Cars Look Like?

As autonomous cars gain more attraction and popularity on the road, we are becoming more hopeful that we may one day watch movies on family road trips or get some work done while our cars do the driving.  In the “Hover Cars & Hard Problems” podcast, Walt Hearn shares his insight on the future of autonomous cars and the use of simulation. As vice president of the Ansys Americas Sales Team, Walt provides exciting and in-depth opinions on the safety of autonomous cars, the adoption of autonomous technologies in different industries, and new technologies on the horizon.

“We're still at the very beginning of the autonomous journey,” says Hearn. “There are many challenges that have to be tackled from an engineering perspective, so we do have a little way to go, but it's exciting to see the progress we're making … [We’re] seeing cars today with adaptive cruise control, automatic adapted braking, and we're seeing that saving lives.”

Will you be able to have your own fully autonomous, self-driving car soon? Hollywood has gotten our hopes up for flying cars and other exciting inventions. Other than a few notable exceptions by innovative inventors, cars have not reached that level. However, the automotive industry is constantly changing to adopt and normalize new features, such as automatic adaptive braking and backup cameras. A fully autonomous car is still several years away, but technologies from many different areas and industries are contributing to making autonomy a reality — including simulation.

“Everybody talks a lot about autonomous cars, but it's actually all modes of transportation that we’re chasing,” says Hearn. "We're chasing autonomous boats, autonomous airplanes, autonomous trains because all the sensors are able to be used for all different industries; it's not just being pushed in automotive.

“Imagine a lidar and a camera sensor that are on an autonomous car — now it’s in a manufacturing plant monitoring the robots that are manufacturing products. There's just so many applications that are coming out of autonomy.”

Join guest Walt Hearn and hosts Josh Poley, Curt Chan, and Mary Kate Joyce as they discuss inventions we dream of, such as jet packs and The Jetsons’ Rosey the Robot, becoming closer to reality as new innovations are made.

Key Points From This Episode

  • The five levels of autonomy and how simulation is being used to develop fully autonomous transportation
  • The technology in autonomous cars that is being applied to other vehicles, such as boats, trains, and other industries like healthcare
  • Safety features that are adapting and increasing as more problems and distractions are created with autonomous cars
  • New technological innovations to keep up with, such as Neuralink and PillCam

Subscribe to the ‘Hover Cars & Hard Problems’ Podcast

Listen now to the “Simulation and Autonomy  episode of the “Hover Cars & Hard Problems” podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and most streaming platforms.

Follow Ansys on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to stay updated with new episodes and the latest in simulation!

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