Button Menu

Computer Science Department

Autonomous RC: A Self-driving RC Car

Christian Hodgson

Autonomous cars have been a hot topic in the automotive industry. Many companies are spending millions of dollars to be the first to sell a fully automated car: a car that could independently get passengers to an inputted destination. An RC car provides a demonstration of how an autonomous car could work in a simplified way. The autonomous RC car in this project completes six predefined tests to show how an autonomous car could work. While parts of this project will not scale to a full-sized, road legal car, the sensors used to help the car complete the tests are in theory scalable. The logic used to convert the raw data from the sensors to decisions the car makes are simplified but also scalable to a degree.

The autonomous RC car works by taking in data from an array of sensors to make decisions on what to do. RC cars actually work with four buttons (forward, reverse, left, right) which makes the Arduino Uno micro-controller perfect for adding the necessary control and logic to the existing platform. The
Arduino Uno can easily be hooked up to a variant of sensors which will be used to help the car identify its current situation. Then the Arduino Uno will use the decision tree to decide what to do every fraction of a second, and send those commands via changes in voltage to the electric motors.