Washington (ISJ) ? These cars would hit the roads in the near future ? it is autonomous or driverless, capable of communicating with the roads it is moving on. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) headed by Indian-origin technologist Prof. Raj Rajkumar has developed this highly advanced car ever designed, navigating through urban roads and highways without human intervention.
The new car ? a Cadillac SRX - unlike its earlier versions, looks much like any other car on the road ? its top-of-the-line radar, cameras, sensors and other technologies are built into the body, while computers are tucked away under the floor.
The autonomous systems in the car can control the steering, speed and braking as also detect and avoid obstacles on the road, including pedestrians and bicyclists.
"Because computers don't get distracted, sleepy or angry, they can actually keep us much safer--that is the promise of this technology," said Prof. Raj Rajkumar. "Over time, the technology will augment automotive safety significantly."
Automotive accidents result in 1.2 million fatalities annually around the world and cost citizens and governments $518 billion. It is estimated that 90 percent of those accidents are caused by human error.
Several automobile majors, like Volvo, Audi, BMW and Ford are currently developing driverless cars. Google has recently tested cars loaded up with autonomous driving technology. The British government has also announced plans to develop driverless cars.
Image courtesy: NSF