Google did have some fun with their self-driving car before it ran into an accident, but that has not deterred others from coming up with their own version of a driverless car. It seems that in Berlin, there is a new vehicle which is capable of talking, seeing, and driving all by itself – it does not need a human to use a remote control to navigate it. This computer-controlled vehicle is now roaming the streets of Berlin, thanks to researchers from Berlin’s Free University that has been running tests on it so far.
It will use a range of sophisticated devices to go through traffic, while a precision satellite navigation system located in the trunk will make sure it gets to the right destination. There will be a camera in the front and laser scanners installed on the roof and around the front and rear bumpers to make sure that it won’t Google-ize the car.
According to Raul Rojas, the head of the university’s research group for artificial intelligence, “The vehicle can recognise other cars on the road, pedestrians, buildings and trees up to 70m around it and even see if the traffic lights ahead are red or green and react accordingly. In fact, the car’s recognition and reaction to its environment is much faster than a human being’s reaction.”
The research car is a Volkswagen Passat that cost a whole lot more than what a normal Passat would, cramming in plenty of technology to bring the final price point to €400,000.