The present day cars require a lot of human interaction with respect to driving the vehicle safely. In this paper, an idea is discussed which can be used to develop an automated car which can be operated by the user just by clicking on the user interface thereby avoiding the strain of driving. This automated car also has a special feature of multiple degrees of freedom in terms of movement making the maneuverability much easier. This car can move in any angle with the help of the mecanum wheels. The direction and the speed of the vehicle can be controlled by the user just by clicking on the user interface. The cameras installed in the car can automatically detect the obstacles from all directions and can give feedback to the user. The speed of the vehicle can be programmed to get adjusted automatically just by reading the traffic rules data of that area through wireless media. The user need not search for the traffic sign boards for speed limit.
As cars are now considered as basic necessity, this idea if implemented as a product has a lot of market potential given the ease of operation. A basic prototype of the idea is built which works on the following principles by using the below described hardware. The remaining portion of the document describes how the prototype is built. The prototype uses the software and hardware provided by National Instruments. Though the basic prototype built does not possess an HMI and wireless routers, the FPGA can be programmed to take input directions from the user interface and wireless routers.
Note:The figures are attached in the illustrations.
Fig 1: Mecanum Wheels
The four wheels are arranged on four corners of the vehicle both as shown in the figure below.
Based on the motors and the angled rollers, the wheels rotate forward, reverse, inward and outward. Thus any direction is possible by varying the direction and speeds of the wheels. These directions are shown in fig 2.
Depending on the resultant force of T1, T2, T3, T4 (shown in the above diagram) acting on 4 wheels the vehicle moves in different directions.
The surroundings of the car are captured through the camera which gives the user the details of the obstacles around the vehicle. The wireless routers attached to the vehicle gives traffic information on the road, speed limits of the road; etc which is fed to the microcontroller and the speed of the vehicle gets adjusted automatically. The microcontroller also receives information from the user interface like speed, direction.etc. Based on the inputs from these sources, the program installed in the microcontroller decides the speed and direction of the vehicle and thereby sends the signals accordingly to the input/output modules which control the movement of the motors connected to the wheels.
Fig 4:Basic Block diagram of the idea