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Autonomous Driving

  • Ford’s self-driving car inspiration? That would be dolphins

    Ford's been gradually moving toward the tech space for a while now. It's had a research centre in Silicon Valley since mid 2012 and is doing some seriously cool stuff with apps and car design. It should hardly surprising then that it's decided to enter the autonomous vehicle space. What is surprising is the inspiration for its self-driving efforts: dolphins. The Dearborn-based marque is teaming up with researchers from Stanford and MIT to launch research into "the challenges" facing autonomous cars. According to Mark Fields, Ford's chief operating officer, the modified Ford Fusion being used for the research takes...

  • Volvo reportedly prepping 100-car strong autonomous driving trial

    We all know Volvo doesn't really muck about when it comes to making sure its cars are safe. Small wonder then that the Swedish manufacturer is behind what is set to be the world's first large-scale autonomous driving experiment. Known officially as the “Drive me—Self-driving cars for sustainable mobility,” the project is a collaboration between Volvo, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park, and the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. Kicking off in 2014, it won't take the form of a one-off event either. That makes sense, given that it's meant to help pin-point the social benefits...

  • Automated vehicle hits the road in Japan as Nissan joins the race for driverless cars

    This week car manufacturer Nissan impressively demonstrated its own self-driving vehicle on a public expressway in Japan with plans of commercializing it by 2020. Although not a first, the race to introduce this tech in the near future is clearly heating up. The Autonomous Drive is based on the Leaf electric car and performed a number of groundbreaking manoeuvres such as switching between lanes, overtaking and merging. According to the Japan Times, the vehicle carried officials as well as journalists on a 3.2km drive. The car uses seven cameras and six laser scanners, to gain a 360-degree field of vision...

  • Think Google’s winning at autonomous cars? Check out these driverless mining trucks

    Over the years, a lot of fuss has been made over Google's autonomous vehicle programme. Rightly so too, but the truth is we're still a little way away from fully autonomous passenger vehicles. One thing that most stories tend to ignore though is the fact that autonomous vehicles operating in a number of spaces. One of the earliest sectors of the economy to benefit from autonomous vehicles was agriculture. Increasingly though, they're having an impact on the mining sector. The benefits are obvious: without people in or around the vehicle the mine can operate more safely as there's no...

  • Oxford researchers set to challenge Google’s self-driving car monopoly

    Money goes a long way, but ingenuity can go further. The equation usually goes like this: lots of money attracts smart people and makes cool things happen. Another equation can work too, though: really smart and ambitious people find some money scraped together from their tutoring savings and sky-diving funds and make really cool and cheap things happen. Such was the case when some researchers from the University of Oxford took it upon themselves to challenge the likes of Google in the own autonomous vehicle game. The system being used is a collection of low-profile stereo cameras and lasers; very...

  • Is autonomous car tech driving us around the bend?

    Are we ready for a future not too dissimilar to that portrayed in Minority Report? I’m not referring to bald people predicting murders before they occur, but rather to cars that don’t need us -- the drivers. Being a big fan of driving myself, this is a question that naturally presented itself when I read news of Audi’s new autonomous car system. It beats the bendz Audi itself prefers to call it a “piloted” system, reinforcing the idea that these cars should not necessarily be left entirely to their own devices, but that human guidance should still be present to supervise...

  • Google’s self-driving car project gets a Lexus RX450h

    There's no doubting the success Google has achieved already with its self-drive car project. It has already clocked up over 300 000 miles in a Toyota Prius. But that car was for urban terrain, suburban obstacles and the cityscape. The Lexus RX450h is for navigating the topographically impassable for the Prius, which isn't actually saying too much. Goggle's goal is to map out as many different terrains and scenarios as possible so no surprises confront the self-driven vehicle and "To provide the best experience we can", says an engineer on the official Google blog. Google further states that "Technology is...

  • simTD creates intelligent cars, removes human error

    The Germans have struck again. With all their calculating efficiency and cold thinking, they are set to remove human error from driving. The Safe Intelligent Mobility -- Testfield Germany (simTD) is a four year test in which intelligent communication systems are assessed for implementation for improved road safety. The team behind it believes that the best way to have a safer road is to eliminate the human element that causes all the accidents by putting in systems that react to the situations on the road. Most of the German car manufacturers are involved including Audi, Volkswagen, BMW and Opel, with...

  • Top five self-parking cars

    Since 2006 self-parking cars have hit the market with the Lexus LS460, and now iterations from Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and Ford have emerged. Here is a list of the top five self-parking cars, with a couple videos of them working, and one of it not. Unfortunately, because these systems work on radar, getting them to crash is near impossible, so no fun crashing videos. 5. BMW Directed mainly at the European market, BMW’s park assist focuses only on a parallel parking option. In the video, however, it doesn't quite seem to work as intended. The option of Remote...

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