The Oxford University scientists have recently developed a robotic that can drive itself using data from sensors like cameras, lasers mounted on it or radars, and the developers of the “smart” vehicle say that this technology could hit the real road production cars within 15 years.
“Only by understanding its environment can an autonomous vehicle genuinely drive itself, safely, without the need for human intervention. Our long-term aim is to enable a new generation of robotic vehicles that can make the roads safer, less congested, cleaner, and personal transport more accessible. We do this by making smarter cars”, said the Department of Engineering Science professor within Oxford University, Paul Newman.
According to professor Newman, the “smart” vehicle made by BAE Systems is removing the GPS dependence to improve navigation precision, and can interpret local traffic conditions, track risks and offer a hands-free experience to its driver.
The eyes, nose and ears of the vehicle are the cameras, lasers and radars, all of them mounted on the car itself, which can interpret and send data to a central unit which is able to take real time decisions.
The Oxford research is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) which is collaborating with BAE Systems and Nissan, being the first projects in the world which are working on creating an autonomous vehicle.