Automakers currently developing self-driving and connected vehicles are having to tackle a very old problem concerning electronics, specifically the interference caused by other wireless devices.
Known as electromagnetic interference, these types of signals date back to the early days of radio technology and can have negative effects on how computer chips operate, reports Automotive News.
“Think about all the radios reporting out there; you’ve got some really significant issues,” stated Rahul Razdan, a researcher at Florida Polytechnic University who has experience regarding connected car technology.
One such issue came to light when Mobileye began testing an autonomous prototype in Jerusalem back in May, only to have the vehicle run a red light during press demonstrations. The company’s CEO, Amnon Shashua, blamed wireless signals from a local TV station’s cameras for having disrupted the traffic light’s transponder – which sends information to vehicles.
“It was a very unique situation,” said Shashua. “We’d never anticipated something like this.”
In reality, several automakers have had to face electromagnetic interference with regards to multiple types of technologies, such as wireless phone charging or their electronically controlled steering and braking systems. The problem is having to discern the source of the interference, as overlapping wireless systems can make things more difficult – especially in city centers where we can expect the first deployments of advanced self-driving vehicles.