A UAV that can operate by itself without any human intervention is commonly called an autonomous drone. Thus, in simple words, it can carry out all its operations on its own, from taking off to landing. “All autonomous drones are a type of UAV, but all UAVs are not necessarily autonomous drones”. An “autonomous drone” is piloted by software instead of a human, an autonomous drone is part of a UAS by definition, as it requires a complete system to operate.

The present drone technology has several limitations. Even though many functions are automated, there is an expert who is supervising the flight. This technology is yet not suitable for managing complex and unpredictable situations, severe weather conditions handling, or flying without restrictions, especially in populated areas.

Thus, our main motive here is to build an AI-powered drone camera, program it with object tracking data from proximity sensors, GPS sensors, and motion sensors. Thus, these drones should be artificial intelligence(AI) trained. 

To proceed with this, we need simulation models of environments, cities, and weather conditions that the UAV might face. The simulation can also be used to:

  • Optimize, verify and certify camera, lidar, radar, and other sensor performance
  • Verify and certify software logic and AI systems
  • Test the link between sensors, software and virtual worlds
  • Perform functional safety assessments with software, AI and sensors in the loop
  • Lightweight components
  • Optimize battery, motor, and electric propulsion performance

To ensure that the drones are fully automated, certain things must be ensured, like:

  • Certifying, designing as well as testing sensors, radar, and cameras so that they are able to observe any environment the drone may encounter especially during adverse or rough weather.
  • Developing, testing, and certifying a functionally secure and safe software.
  • Improving the aerodynamics, reducing weight and increasing battery or propulsion system performance in order to increase the travel distances and the carrying capacity.

These tasks would include simulation models of environments, cities, and weather conditions that the UAV might face. By tweaking each simulation, we can test, optimize, and certify the safety of autonomous technology faster than we ever could using physical prototypes.

Simulation can also be used to:

  • Optimize, verify and certify camera, lidar, radar, and other sensor performance
  • Test the link between sensors, software and virtual worlds
  • Perform functional safety assessments with software, AI and sensors in the loop
  • Optimize battery, motor, and electric propulsion performance
  • Verify and certify software logic and AI systems
  • Lightweight components