Monday, October 11, 2010

Google conducts R&D on self-driving automated cars

Recently, there are some news about Google test driving their new innovative toy - self-driving automated cars that can start, stop, steer and run without any human intervention.

This project involved 7 cars (6 Toyota Priuses and 1 Audi TT) that have mostly been driven without any human assistance for at least 1000 miles (or 1609 kilometers) on major California roads. In fact, they've already gone through more than 140,000 miles (or 225,260 kilometers) with only occasional human control.

The cars know speed limits, traffic patterns and road maps. This is made possible by a rotating sensor on the roof to create an environment around the car, a video-camera behind the windshield for pedestrians and traffic lights, radar on the front and back bumper, GPS and motion sensors, controlled by computer with artificial-intelligence software that can sense anything near the car and mimic the decisions made by a human driver.

Google claimed that these automated self-driving cars can react faster than humans, have 360-degree perception and do not get distracted, sleepy or intoxicated. As a result, this can reduce accident on the road.

The car can even be programmed for different driving personalities — from "cautious" to "aggressive" mode.

This project is the brainchild of Sebastian Thrun, 43, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a Google engineer and the co-inventor of the Street View mapping service.

Though this invention is still far from production yet, we can probably foresee the automated car KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) that we watched in the TV show Knight Rider to come into reality in the near future.


car advisor said... Reply To This Comment

Thanks for sharing this information. It's the first time I've heard of this self-driving automated cars.

Post a Comment

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.