Scientists are now developing robots that could substitute humans when driving cars and they will test it this November in a competition run by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Associate Professor Sebastian Thrun of Stanford University said â€œIn the past it was sufficient for a vehicle just to perceive the environment, the new challenge will be to understand the environment. The robot must be able to recognize another car, to understand that it is moving and that it will interact with it as it gets closer.â€
Stanford's participant "Junior" is an improved 2006 Volkswagen Passat. Steering, throttle and brakes all have been customized by engineers to be absolutely computer-controllable. A collection of lasers built-in on the car bumpers, radar and global positioning systems collects information into the on-board computer to establish its location. Thrun expected that robots would replace human drivers by 2030.
Robot Drivers by 2010
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