If you have seen Jurassic World, you might recall some scenes in the movies where people get onto this hamster-ball like vehicle which drives them around the park automatically, giving them a (safe) tour of the area. It’s an interesting idea and one that has been sort of brought to life over in Singapore.
Recently MIT has announced that together with National Research Foundation of Singapore, they have created a self-driving vehicle in the form of an autonomous golf cart. The goal of the cart is to ferry around tourists and visitors in a large public garden in Singapore, giving them a brisk and relaxing tour of the venue.
The carts will be equipped with rangefinders and various sensors placed all over the cart to help it move around. Given that the carts also move relatively slowly at 15mph, it gives the computer more time to adjust and take into account obstacles that might be in its way. No doubt this is an interesting idea and a good way to attract tourists, it has also been considered for the use with elderly people.
According to Daniela Rus the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor from MIT’s Department of Engineering, “If you think about who needs rides, it’s fast enough for the elderly population who no longer have a driver’s license and live in special areas where maybe their friend lives a mile away, and that’s too far to walk. If they want to go to the doctor or shopping, they can use the self-driving golf carts because that’s within some comfortable distance.”