Sunday, October 31, 2010

Driverless Cars – An innovative direction for Auto Industry

When Karl Benz, Henry Ford and John W Lambert were making headlines in the previous century in the field of newly born auto industry, they would have never even in their wildest dreams would have imagined that one day the vehicles will be running without fuel and their drivers. Today, the driverless cars are making the same headlines as was done more than a hundred years ago.

The 13000 kilometers long accident free journey of four solar powered driverless vehicles from Italy to China is a landmark in the auto industry. This reminds of the flying cars in the film “Back to the Future” and also makes it possible someday when we would be flying and “piloting” cars instead of driving.

The vehicles used solar panels mounted on their rooftops, and equipped with computerized artificial vision system “GOLD” for Generic Obstacle and lane Detector for automatically analyzing the information from the sensors and adjusting the vehicles’ directions and speed. At one point, the vehicles also stopped to give a lift to a hitch hiker.

The project is part of the research work at University of Parma, Italy and may serve as a cue for its vending and production for commercial use by some auto giant one day. For the time being the visitors at the Shanghai Expo, China will be the opportunity to see these vehicles and may wonder at the marvel of technology advancement. And we will wait for the time when such cars make their way on to our roads one day.


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