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Autonomous Vehicles

Just how good will autonomous cars get? Watch this!!!

It's the kind of spectacular driving stunt we expect of James Bond or Frank Martin - slam the Aston Martin/Audi into reverse, plant the gas pedal, wait for momentum to pick up, then flick the wheel to perform a faultless 180 degree pirouette into an impossibly tight parking space. Only celluloid superheroes can drive like this and get it right every time ... oh, and autonomous vehicles. Faultless driving stunts are not normally associated with autonomous vehicles but check out this video because it'll help get everyone accustomed to the concept! Computers will eventually out-drive, out-think and out-perform humans on every level and this clip of autonomous supervehicle Stanley shows that computers out-driving us will be sooner rather than later.  Read More

GM's EN-V is a concept two-wheeled vehicle for personal transportation in the cities of th...

It is estimated that by 2030, urban areas will be home to more than 60 percent of the world’s eight billion people. That doesn’t bode well for cities with public infrastructure that is already struggling to meet the growing demand for transportation. General Motors (GM) and its strategic partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC) have come up with a concept two-wheeled vehicle to address the need for personal urban transportation in the cities of the future - the Electric Networked-Vehicle.  Read More

The autonomous TTS Coupe quattro's R2D2-like antennae might one day be as visually appeali...

The age-old battle of man versus machine will move to a new arena in 2010 when Audi will begin pitting an autonomous TTS Coupe quattro against record times of some of the great driving challenges, including a likely attempt at the infamous 12.42-mile Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado, USA. The driverless Audi is from the same team that built the VW Touareg which won the first race for autonomous vehicles, the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. The inevitable incorporation of advanced robotic technologies into our automobiles will ultimately yield a safer vehicle and it’s the thin end of the wedge – one day soon your car will not only be smarter than you are, it will also be faster and maybe even better looking.  Read More

The Pronto4 installed on the steering wheel of a military vehicle

Let’s say you want to go for a ride in your car, but you don’t feel like driving it. Or perhaps you want to drive your car, but you don’t want to go for a ride in it. These two seemingly contradictory scenarios are probably not what Kairos Autonomi had in mind when it developed the Pronto4 Agnostic Autonomy System. The Pronto4 is a drive-by-wire system that when installed in a vehicle, provides self-driving capability as well as remote control. The system is “agnostic” because it is a retrofit kit that the manufacturer claims can be installed in any steering-wheel based vehicle.  Read More

Oshkosh recently demonstrated the capabilities of its TerraMax unmanned ground vehicles (U...

The ability of military vehicles to better protect occupants with modern designs and high-tech materials has become an increasing priority and UK firm Amsafe has already seen success with its Tarian armor plating in the U.S. Oshkosh Defense, part of the U.S. Marine Corp’s MRAP (Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected) program, is also heavily involved and a recently-announced armor system took an alternative approach with an emphasis on mobility. Development of its new TerraMax vehicles seems almost flawless in its potential, however, at least in protecting the lives of the soldiers on board because, put simply, there aren’t any.  Read More

Verdino self-steering vehicle

We've seen numerous examples of science mimicking nature in the developing fields of robotic automation and artificial intelligence in recent times, from robotic fish to leaping micro-bots and mechanical rodents. Now a team of engineers from the University of La Laguna (ULL) in the Canary Islands have applied this thinking to self-steering vehicles using a system based on the way ants navigate between home-base and their food source.  Read More

Stanley - the first-ever winner of the DARPA Grand Challenge

The pioneering autonomous vehicle that won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge will complete its world tour with a visit to its home town before taking its place at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Dubbed "Stanley", the robotic Volkswagen Touareg developed by the Stanford Racing Team will be on show at the Silicon Valley The Tech Museum of Innovation from June 20 through July 17.  Read More

Volkswagen's Park Assist Vision system

Minor collisions as a result of parking mishaps are a common, costly and extremely frustrating occurrence and for several years auto manufacturers including BMW have indicated that solutions that take human error out of the equation are on the way. The latest news in the area comes from Volkswagen, which has demonstrated its “Park Assist Vision” system at this year’s Hanover Fair. The fully-automatic, remotely-operated self-parking system lets you get out of the car and watch as it backs itself into even the skinniest of perpendicular spaces, using cameras located in the left and right exterior mirrors to gauge the dimensions of the parking area available and communicate this information to the computerized steering and drive systems.  Read More

Team Tartan takes DARPA Urban Challenge win

November 4, 2007 The man-most-likely finally got to stand atop the victory dias in the DARPA Urban Challenge today when Tartan Racing’s Chevy Tahoe Boss gave Red Whittaker the victory everyone thought would be his in the 2005 Grand Challenge. Tartan Racing won the US$2 million prize for first, while Stanford Racing’s VW Junior won the $1 million second place prize, reversing the order from the last DARPA Challenge. Third was Team Victor Tango’s Odin. The event was a massive triumph for the educational system of Pennsylvania which provided the dominant winner of the event (from Carnegie Mellon) and the most ingenious and successful of the underfunded “Track B” teams which came from University of Pennsylvania and Lehigh University (Ben Franklin Racing Team).  Read More

Six teams finish the DARPA Urban Challenge

November 3, 2007 The DARPA Urban Challenge finished here this afternoon with an astounding six teams completing an array of missions over a demanding 60 mile urban course. The logical placegetters in the event were the first three to clear the course, quite some time ahead of the others - Junior (Stanford University's VW Passat), Boss (Carnegie Mellon's Chevrolet Tahoe) and Odin (Virginia Tech's Ford Escape hybrid). No winner has been named on the day, with DARPA due to announce the final placings tomorrow morning at 10am, though Tartan Racing’s Red Whittaker seemed very confident after the event after a completely clean run with no infringements or hiccups and a total time more than 20 minutes faster than the nearest competitor. The calm and confidence after the event did not reflect some of the issues the team experienced on the starting line  Read More

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