10:19 | 11.09.17 | Interviews | exclusive 110199

Armenian specialists develop solutions for self-driving cars

Armenian specialists consider interesting solutions for the development of autonomous cars. For more details, Itel.am talked to Gurgen Mardoyan, member of the working group and representative of National Instruments.

-Do you think Armenia can already offer certain solutions for the development of self-driving cars?

- First of all, we work in the research area. Despite the fact that a number of companies already produce self-driving cars, most of them are still under research. We aim at improving autonomous systems with the help of accurate algorithms, necessary for developing proper decision-making processes. Autonomous cars will be more reliable, once they think like a human being.

Armenian commercial companies and ANEL (Armenian National Engineering Laboratories) currently work in that direction.

For example, an Armenian commercial company created a platform for developing object recognition algorithms through images. A camera will be placed on car windshield, which will capture the road and every object on it. With the help of recognition algorithms, the car will differentiate passing pedestrians from cars in real time and automatically stop upon detecting a pedestrian. Similar cams are based on smart algorithms, partially developed by an Armenian company. This is connected to recognition of objects through images and neural networks.

ANEL has also created a lab platform to develop algorithms for automatic braking systems. We plan to improve the platform in a way that it allows us to test algorithms for any other autonomous system or create a completely new system.  

We offer to test autonomous cars under laboratory conditions to understand whether they are in fact reliable on the road. In other words, we are creating virtual reality for autonomous cars.

The autonomous car feels its movements owing to special sensors. It also detects pedestrians once they appear on the road. In real life roads and processes vary each time, while we offer to repeatedly test each case in laboratories, where we can make sure cars react adequately, excluding any possible danger.  

-Which international organizations do you cooperate with?

- Our partners are industrial leaders from around the world. We started to cooperate with them from March of 2016. Back then we were invited to National Instruments office in Silicon Valley to participate in the development of new equipment for our company. We visited the center of automobile industry in U.S. Michigan, as well as Japan, Korea and China.

The traveling team and specialists in Armenia always work together, so new information and latest trends reach Armenia operatively. To become leaders you need to work for the future.

When we speak to giants like Ford and Toyota, we understand the future they envision. We predict what they are going to produce and what testing systems they are going to apply. We are trying to develop this vision in Armenia as well and create professional base for delivering necessary production for the future.

Our teams closely cooperate with American, European, Japanese and Chinese companies.  

We collaborate with Russian companies as well. Moreover, we receive guests and visit these companies ourselves. Currently our team is negotiating with 4-5 companies, willing to apply Armenian solutions.

Russian companies have a precise road map today. They are going to exploit the first self-driving truck in 2018. Russians plan to install automatic braking systems on all automobiles by 2022, which means every car will automatically brake in case of possible accident with another car, person or any other object. Specialists also predict that 65% of cars in Russia will be self-driving by 2035. Taking into consideration our membership in EAEU, Russia’s plans give plenty of opportunities for Armenia as well.

Narine Daneghyan talked to Gurgen Mardoyan