Google has been making headlines about self-driving cars for some time now. However, while the search giant’s project is of a huge scope, Oxford University’s Department of Engineering has devised a cheaper and simpler ‘alternative.’ The technology essentially allows a Nissan car to drive on its own, letting the user control it using an iPad.
For now, the project is still at its beginning. To give a demonstration of the technology, a Nissan car was fitted up with cameras and lasers. These essentially let the car decipher the position of other objects on and around the car. The technology then processes this data and lets the car drive safely on the road and apply brakes whenever an object is in front of it.
The iPad provides the ‘face’ of this technology, letting the user activate or deactivate the self-drive control through a simple interface. Once the user hits the brakes, the self-drive control is terminated and the car becomes available for manual driving.
According to Professor Paul Newman of Oxford University, the technology is essentially meant as an auxiliary tool for car drivers so that they can temporarily take a respite from driving their vehicle. For now, the prototype system that has been developed at the university costs nearly $7500.
The goal, however, is to bring down the costs to as low as $150, says the Professor. At the same time, he also mentions that a lot of work still has to go into the technology before it could be ready for common use on the roads.
Source: University of Oxford
Courtesy: Redmond Pie