Self-Driving Cars: How They Work

You climb into your car, punch your destination into the GPS…and then curl up under a blanket for a nice nap while your vehicle drives itself there.

Sound like a dream? Not quite.

With several manufacturers now developing technology for self-driving cars, many advancements are expected in the next few years. In fact, some experts have predicted that in our lifetime, we could be living in a world in which most cars on the roads will be driverless.

The basic components of self-driving cars already exist—they just need to be refined. Here’s a look at how most autonomous vehicles are wired.

1. Onboard Computer

Uses a neural network to process LIDAR and radar inputs.

2. Global Positioning System

GPS signals are combined with measurements from onboard meters for advanced location accuracy.

3. LIDAR Sensors

LIDAR (light detection and ranging) uses pulses of light to map nearby cars and objects

4. Hi-Def Cameras

Provide wide-range visibility to detect and identify traffic lights and road signs.

5. Forward-Facing Radar

Can detect other cars through inclement weather.


Cars aren’t the only things getting smarter. Download the award-winning GEICO Mobile app to help locate the cheapest places to get gas nearby, pay your bill automatically and request Emergency Road Service (ERS) at the touch of a button. Find it in the App store or on Google Play. 

By Mark Yarm

Read More: Self-driving cars have arrived

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