Researchers have long been concerned about the problem of creating an algorithm that will be able to prevent accidents involving self-driving cars. Scientists from Northwestern University have created a program that eliminates collisions, guaranteeing complete safety on the road.
The development received the ambitious name “the first decentralized algorithm with a guarantee of the absence of collisions.” The program was tested on small robots. The algorithm divides the roadway under the machines into a virtual grid. Each robot accurately determines its coordinates and navigates in space using technology similar to GPS. At the same time, he synchronizes his movements with other robots.
“Robots refuse to move to some place until this place is vacant, and until they find out that other robots are not moving to the same place. They are careful and reserve a place in advance, ”the creators of the technology say.
To eliminate the factor of randomness, robots were provided with data on the movement of only three or four “neighbors”. This reduced the number of errors, because the mechanisms no longer needed complete information about all participants in the movement. This approach does not require a control center, and also eliminates the breakdown of the system, because even if one of the robots fails, the rest will automatically adjust to the changing conditions.
“Understanding how to control our robots, we can decide how to manage fleets of autonomous vehicles when they interact with each other,” the researchers concluded.