Driverless vehicles seem to be in vogue and now four driverless electric vans have successfully made an 8,000-mile test drive from Italy to China, arriving at the Shanghai Expo on Thursday. The vehicles were equipped with four solar-powered laser scanners and seven video cameras to detect and avoid obstacles. A computerized artificial vision system dubbed GOLD (Generic Obstacle and Lane Detector) analyzed the information from the sensors and automatically adjusted the vehicles’ speed and direction. This exercise was part of an experiment aimed at improving road safety and advancing automotive technology. The vehicle did carry researchers, in case of an emergency, such as bad traffic, toll booths, and giving a hitch hiker a lift, all of which happened. Hopefully this means that we’ll be able to enjoy the newspaper at the back of the car while our car drives itself.
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