Humanoid robots are definitely cool, but what about cars that drive themselves? The team at the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) is looking to send a robotic Audi TTS racing off at high speed up the tight bends that lead to Pikes Peak without a driver. The car, nicknamed Shelley, will be attempting a timed race in September. Other autonomous cars have reached the summit before, but only at speeds of around 25mph, the team is looking to do it much faster, and when you take into account Shelley has hit speeds of 130mph without a driver on testing grounds, it’ll certainly be an interesting challenge. The car will stay on track thanks to its use of a differential GPS, which is much more accurate than a standard GPS, allowing you to pinpoint the car’s position to within an inch. Aside from the GPS unit, Shelley can measure her speed and acceleration thanks to the wheel-speed sensors and accelerometer, and getting her bearings from gyroscopes. This will all be controlled by the bunch of electronics and gadgets that are crammed into the vehicle’s trunk. Will we all have self-driving cars to chauffer us around town in the future? It certainly seems like an appealing idea.
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