Monday, October 11, 2010
Yes, dear readers, you read that correctly. Google has designed cars that drive themselves. As part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) series of autonomous vehicle races, Chris Urmson, a Carnegie Mellon robotics scientist, Mike Montemerlo, senior research engineer in Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Lab, and Anthony Levandowski, a product manager at Google, developed a self-piloting car. This modified Toyota Prius has already logged 140,000 hours on the roads driving the 352 miles between the Google's Mountain View headquarters and its office in Santa Monica with minimal human intervention.
According to Google software engineer Sebastian Thrun, "Our automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to 'see' other traffic, as well as detailed maps (which we collect using manually driven vehicles) to navigate the road ahead. This is all made possible by Google’s data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by our cars when mapping their terrain."
Read more here in Information Week.