Auto Electronics

Driverless vehicle deploys TI DSPs

Velodyne Acoustics Inc.'s Digital Auto Drive subsidiary has selected Texas Instruments' digital signal processors for use in a driverless Toyota Tundra truck that will compete in the second DARPA Grand Challenge on Oct. 8.

TI TMS320C6416 DSPs are used in the vehicle's environment sensing system -- a 64-element laser radar (LADAR) camera that provides real-time 3-D terrain mapping. Information provided by the laser imaging system is reconciled with expected vehicle path data and the resulting navigational control data is then sent to the vehicle servo-control navigation system, which is based on TI TMS320C2000 digital signal controllers. The vehicle servo-control system is also supported by two high precision GPS receivers, servo motors to navigate the truck and an internal measurement unit that uses gyros and motion-sensing accelerometers to correct for gaps in GPS signals.

The truck is said to be capable of assessing the road surface and potential obstacles more than 500 feet ahead and to do so at more than 60 times per second; a processing capability deemed sufficient to navigate a car traveling at more than 100 mph.

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