The Guinness Book of World Records for Chang’an Autonomous Driving Formation Event, but it was suspected to be a show

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Two days ago, Changan Automobile held a huge home show in Chongqing, its base camp. The theme was an autonomous driving fleet of 55 Changan Automobiles challenging the Guinness record of driving 3.2 kilometers in formation.

As soon as the matter started, in addition to the cheering news, there were also some different voices, mainly questioning Changan’s show.

I need to explain that I have no prejudice against Changan and other independent brands, but I am not obliged to “wash the floor” for doubts, but I think it is wrong to always look at domestic cars with brand prejudice.

I don’t deny that independent brands have always had the habit of “showing” in their publicity. As an automotive technology editor who came to the scene in person, I just want to talk about whether this self-driving formation show is just for show from the industry and technical point of view.

After so many stance questions, first of all, how did this Guinness World Record operate?

The self-driving fleet composed of 56 Changan CS55s is arranged side by side in a line. It keeps a constant speed on the high-ring road that is 12% narrower than the standard lane on the test field. There are straights and bends. It is a challenge to pass 3.2 kilometers smoothly. success. The final result was fifty-five vehicles to complete the task, and one vehicle did not complete the challenge.

To be honest, it’s boring to look at most of the Guinness World Records. But unlike the records of “brown boulders in the chest”, the boring here does not mean that it is meaningless.

Why do you say that? I have to talk about it from two perspectives of industry and technology.


Changan is not the first, many mainstream auto companies have done it

Why did you say brand bias before, because the domestic media seems to habitually classify the attempts of foreign car companies as “innovation” and self-owned brands as “show”. Even the same thing in the same form.

If you pay attention to self-driving trucks, you will find that self-driving formations are almost the usual operations of various families.

First is Volvo. Volvo Trucks believes that truck platooning can help improve efficiency. A self-driving truck leads the team and the two cars behind it can make good use of aerodynamics.

Using the fleet system can save fuel, improve road safety, and increase the capacity of the transportation system. A self-driving truck is driving at the front of the convoy, and the self-driving trucks immediately behind can use the principles of aerodynamics to improve efficiency.

In 2016, three Volvo FM self-driving trucks set off from Gothenburg, Sweden, passed through Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and finally arrived in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for a mighty self-driving European cruise.

As early as 2016, Daimler also played a similar operation. Trucks traveled in formations with a distance of 15 meters, using autonomous driving and V2V technology to ensure mutual communication and automatic travel between vehicles. The purpose of this is also to reduce the air resistance.

Because the extremely small distance between vehicles will cause the leading vehicle to break through the airflow, it will be directly received by the second vehicle at the rear of the vehicle, without forming a low-pressure vortex zone, which effectively reduces the total air resistance of the entire fleet during driving. .

Tens of thousands of people have made the truck autopilot formation known by Tesla. When the Semi truck was released last year, a live demonstration video about the autopilot formation shocked four people. Tesla announced that Semi supports a new tracking mode. On the highway, three Tesla trucks can form a fleet, and the latter two will automatically follow the route of the first one. Unfortunately, Semi has not yet been mass-produced.

However, no one has solved a technical difficulty. What if there are social vehicles on the highway? Will the formation automatically return to the formation if a car is left behind? Can one of the cars need to be driven out of the convoy?

Prior to this, autonomous driving formation was only an ideal state, and it was a technology that was not sufficiently mature, but because of this, it denied the meaning of its existence and was undesirable.

Autopilot formation is silly?Technical difficulties are not caused by keyboard typing

Closed roads and driving in formation, because it is simple, it is undoubtedly a very boring thing to leave it to people to do it. Inertial thinking is easy to make us mistaken for smart artificial intelligence to do this. Isn’t it even more of an overkill? What is the technical difficulty of this?

You may not know how hard this kid is driving autonomously in order to complete these operations.

With a question, I consulted an expert from the driverless company Uisee Technology. Regarding the autonomous driving formation, experts have meaningfully returned to me several technical terms: the network between the car and the cloud (real-time, reliability), positioning and control accuracy, and vehicle consistency.

Think back to Changan’s record, keywords, fifty-five cars. It is not easy to ensure the consistency of so many cars, and this is only a prerequisite.

Changan interpreted the technological progress from three aspects:

In terms of sensing, Changan Automobile increased the detection accuracy of the lateral distance of the lane line and the lateral distance of the preceding vehicle from 20cm to close to 5cm, and the accuracy of the longitudinal distance of the preceding vehicle from 1m to close to 10cm;

In terms of decision-making control, the response accuracy has been increased from the previous 5% to close to 1%;

In terms of action control, all precision requirements related to autonomous driving in vehicle design have been re-optimized, and the vehicle manufacturing process has been fully upgraded to ensure the consistency and stability of the autonomous driving fleet during the journey.

More than fifty cars, the workload and technical difficulty are obviously greater than a few cars. Aside from driving speed and closed scenes, it can even be said that Changan’s fleet cruise is more difficult than Daimler, Volvo, and Tesla trucks.

There are also doubts that this technology is useless. My view is on the contrary. When autonomous driving faces various problems, this seemingly “dumb” technology is actually the most practical. Unlike radical start-up companies, car companies generally have two requirements for advanced technology: safety and mass production.

The L4 level of autonomous driving will not come for the time being, but the mature technology of the L2 level of autonomous driving formation can be mass-produced to the models on sale, significantly improving the vehicle’s ACC adaptive cruise capability. The future of fully autonomous driving is certainly very good, but assisted driving is currently the most practical.

Don’t even think about running before you are neat. Most car companies are prudent children. Crossing the river by touching the stones is something that the supplier should do, but don’t underestimate the ability of the OEM.

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