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Self-driving car unveiled by Oxford University

Tested on UK roads for the first time
Fri Feb 15 2013, 15:27

A CAR THAT CAN DRIVE ITSELF, dubbed Robotcar, has been unveiled by a team from Oxford University.

The Robotcar was shown off being tested on UK roads for the first time on Thursday by the Mobile Robotics Group in a series of Youtube videos.

Driverless car tested on UK roads by Oxford University

Using its technology the car is able to accelerate, brake and drive itself along familiar routes through a combination of navigation, planning and control algorithms developed as part of the Oxford Robotcar UK project.

The vehicle used is a modified Nissan LEAF car with laser rangefinders and cameras mounted around the vehicle, plus a computer in the boot to perform the calculations necessary to plan, control speeds and avoid obstacles.

"Instead of imagining some cars driving themselves all of the time we should imagine a time when all cars can drive themselves some of the time," said professor Newman, who leads the team. "The sort of very low cost, low footprint autonomy we are developing is what's needed for everyday use."

The driver manages the car through an iPad mounted in the front, enabling them to activate automatic driving whenever the conditions are suitable.

Manual control of the car can be regained at any time simply by pressing the brake pedal.

"It's exactly like cruise control in an existing vehicle - only this time the car sees obstacles, controls speed and steering. It feels very natural," the group said on its website. µ


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