March 27, 2013

LORD, PROTECT US FROM DRIVERS:

The Perfect Parking Garage: No Drivers Required (Will Knight on March 27, 2013, tECHNOLOGY rEVIEW)

Drivers who use a parking garage in Ingolstadt, Germany, could be forgiven for thinking they've died and gone to commuter heaven. They can pull up outside, step out of their car, and let it drive into the garage to find a parking spot for itself. Later, they simply press a button on a smartphone app and their car will obediently return to the garage entrance.

The garage is an experimental project run by the German carmaker Audi; outfitted with numerous laser systems that map the environment in 3-D, it allows specially outfitted cars equipped with radar and wireless receivers to snake their way up through the garage while navigating past other cars, sense an open spot, pull in, and shut off the motor--potentially shaving minutes off a person's daily commute.

It will likely take a decade to perfect and implement the technology. But the project demonstrates how fully autonomous driving may one day be possible. Vehicle autonomy is advancing at remarkable speed, and it promises to make driving safer, easier, and considerably less annoying, but will appear first in very controlled contexts such as the closed environment of a parking garage.

Posted by at March 27, 2013 9:09 PM
  

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