+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Driverless Vans Make Journey From Italy to China

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Asamankese,Japan
    Posts
    7,539

    Default Driverless Vans Make Journey From Italy to China



    Across Eastern Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan and the Gobi Desert it certainly was a long way to go without getting lost.

    Four driverless electric vans successfully ended an 8,000-mile (13,000-kilometer) test drive from Italy to China a modern-day version of Marco Polo's journey around the world with their arrival at the Shanghai Expo on Thursday.

    The vehicles, equipped with four solar-powered laser scanners and seven video cameras that work together to detect and avoid obstacles, are part of an experiment aimed at improving road safety and advancing automotive technology.

    The sensors on the vehicles enabled them to navigate through wide extremes in road, traffic and weather conditions, while collecting data to be analyzed for further research, in a study sponsored by the European Research Council.

    "We didn't know the route, I mean what the roads would have been and if we would have found nice roads, traffic, lots of traffic, medium traffic, crazy drivers or regular drivers, so we encountered the lot," said Isabella Fredriga, a research engineer for the project.

    Though the vans were driverless and mapless, they did carry researchers as passengers just in case of emergencies. The experimenters did have to intervene a few times when the vehicles got snarled in a Moscow traffic jam and to handle toll stations.

    The project used no maps, often traveling through remote regions of Siberia and China. At one point, a van stopped to give a hitchhiker a lift.

    A computerized artificial vision system dubbed GOLD, for Generic Obstacle and Lane Detector, analyzed the information from the sensors and automatically adjusted the vehicles' speed and direction.

    "This steering wheel is controlled by the PC. So the PC sends a command and the steering wheel moves and turns and we can follow the road, follow the curves and avoid obstacles with this," said Alberto Broggi of Vislab at the University of Parma in Italy, the lead researcher for the project.

    "The idea here was to travel on a long route, on two different continents, in different states, different weather, different traffic conditions, different infrastructure. Then we can have some huge number of situations to test the system on," he said.

    The technology will be used to study ways to complement drivers' abilities. It also could have applications in farming, mining and construction, the researchers said.

    The vehicles ran at maximum speeds of 38 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour) and had to be recharged for eight hours after every two to three hours of driving. At times, it was monotonous and occasionally nerve-racking, inevitably due to human error, Fredriga said.

    "There were a few scary moments. Like when the following vehicle bumped into the leading one and that was just because we forgot, we stopped and we forgot to turn the system off," Fredriga said.

    tech news
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


  2. #2
    Bipolar Neo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    5,583

    Default

    The way technology is going, we will eventually lose control to the machines. Minority report meets I-robot. Gonna be interesting.

+ Reply to Thread

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •