Australian Researchers Claim There Will Be Affordable Driverless Cars

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Australian researchers claim that in 10 years, driverless cars will be within reach for everybody, as they will be within the average price range.

This will be made a reality by a new 'eyes and ears' technology being developed by researchers from the Curtin University, located in Perth.

The technology will be possible by a dozen different sensors integrated in an average car, coupled with an algorithm that will help process the data received.

This will create sensible information which will tell the car about the nature and location of obstacles, say researchers.

Ba Tuong Vo, Associate Professor from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said that this will be a joint project between Curtin, Daimler and Ulm University in Germany.

Since the car does not have to connect to the internet, it can be produced at a low cost.

Vo said, "Our goal was to use affordable sensors, radars, lasers and computer technology that is already available on the market, so the car is more likely to be accessible for people, unlike the small number of driverless cars that currently exist costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each."

"At the moment our autonomous car can drive in a straight line and sense what is around it. The next step is to give it a 'brain' or the computer systems which can tell how to react to what is around it and also what to do when an object comes in its path."

"This will be difficult, as it is giving the car total control of all functions, unlike current driver assist technology that focuses on one purpose, such as alerting the driver when the car drifts out of a lane, or cruise control to keep at a certain speed."

Although things seem very possible, it will still take another 10 years to develop.

The professor said, "There are some interesting issues that will have to be dealt with moving forward, including what decision a car should make when it senses a crash, and also, whose fault an accident is - the car, the sensors or the driver."

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Story first published: Friday, October 31, 2014, 14:23 [IST]
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