Wednesday, August 3, 2011

China Envy: Autonomous Cars

China Daily reports on Chinese researchers who developed an autonomous car that drove 285 km. From the story:
The car, a Hongqi HQ3 with full intellectual property rights developed by the National University of Defense Technology, traveled in daytime, taking only three hours and 20 minutes to finish its trip under full computer and sensor control.
"We only set a maximum speed and then left everything to the car itself," said Dai Bin, a professor in the research team.
"It knew the speed limits, traffic patterns, lane changes and roads using video cameras and radar sensors to detect other cars. It was all controlled by a command center in the trunk," Dai said.
The car encountered several complicated situations that made the test even more difficult.
"We had fog and thundershowers as well as the complex route and unclear lane markings in some sections," he added.
He noted that the car was not equipped with GPS, but relied solely on its sensors and lasers to detect the surrounding environment and choose the correct route.

I believe that most of the current autonomous vehicles under development and testing do not rely on GPS. They are all sensor based. I love that China Daily made note of the "full intellectual property rights developed by the National University of Defense Technology."
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