Apparently Google researchers are not the only people looking seriously at robotic self-driving cars. Well we knew the Japanese and Chinese were doing work, but we’re surprised to learn that the good folk at Oxford University are also having fun with the concept, although they’re taking a different approach altogether.
The RobotCar UK project aims to deliver a ‘low cost’ version of a self-driving vehicle using off the shelf computer parts and a bunch of cameras and lasers. The team are hoping that their stereo camera system, which doesn’t use expensive GPS based technology, can do away with most of the high cost hardware while still delivering a safe automated ride.
The system, which has an Apple iPad at its core, is currently being tested in an all electric Nissan Leaf, which already makes extensive use of computer technology of course. The prototype costs have reached around £5000 so far, which is a fraction of alternative robot car technology costs, and the team hopes this could reduce down to £100 per vehicle if and when it ever goes into full scale implementation.