This post originally appeared on IEEE Spectrum’s Automaton blog.
At this point, seeing robot cars pop up at places like CES is getting less and less surprising and more and more frustrating as we think about just how many hurdles these vehicles have to drive over before we’ll actually get to start using them. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been substantial progress, but when researchers say things like “hey we can make a car autonomous for $150″—as U.K. researchers said about their recently unveiled RobotCar project —it’s time to get excited (and frustrated) all over again.
This car, a modified Nissan Leaf, comes from Oxford University. The first thing to know about it is that it doesn’t use GPS. Really, this shouldn’t come as a shock: GPS is good enough to tell you what road a car is on, but usually not whether a car is driving on the right (or left) side of that road, which is arguably more important. And unlike Google’s self-driving car, the British vehicle doesn’t rely on an expensive LIDAR sensor. Instead, Oxford’s RobotCar relies entirely on scene recognition (from cameras and lasers), matching live imagery with a pre-existing database to figure out
Source: Future Tense Blogs