Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by Woods on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:01PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Highway driving, which is less complex than city driving, has proved easy enough for self-driving cars, but busy downtown streets—where cars and pedestrians jockey for space and behave in confusing and surprising ways—are more problematic. Now Will Knight reports that Michigan's Department of Transportation and 13 companies involved with developing automated driving technology are constructing a 30-acre, $6.5 million driverless town near Ann Arbor to test self-driving cars in an urban environment. Complex intersections, confusing lane markings, and busy construction crews will be used to gauge the aptitude of the latest automotive sensors and driving algorithms and mechanical pedestrians will even leap into the road from between parked cars so researchers can see if they trip up onboard safety systems. “I think it’s a great idea,” says John Leonard, a professor at MIT who led the development of a self-driving vehicle for a challenge run by DARPA in 2007. “It is important for us to try to collect statistically meaningful data about the performance of self-driving cars. Repeated operations—even in a small-scale environment—can yield valuable data sets for testing and evaluating new algorithms.” The testing facility is part of broader work by the University of Michigan's Mobility Transformation Facility that will include putting up to 20,000 vehicles on southeastern Michigan roads. By 2021, Ann Arbor could become the first American city with a shared fleet of networked, driverless vehicles. "Ann Arbor will be seen as the leader in 21st century mobility," says Peter Sweatman, director of the U-M Transportation Research Institute. "We want to demonstrate fully driverless vehicles operating within the whole infrastructure of the city within an eight-year timeline and to show that these can be safe, effective and commercially successful."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:05PM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:05PM (#102993) Journal

    and mechanical pedestrians will even leap into the road from between parked cars

    Automation cuts out yet another slice of the workforce.
    (ducks)

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Tuesday October 07 2014, @03:35PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday October 07 2014, @03:35PM (#103095)

      They could have kept the tradition of getting children to do that for free.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07 2014, @05:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07 2014, @05:08PM (#103192)

      mechanical pedestrians will even leap into the road from between parked cars

      Some mechanical pedestrians will even leap in front of the self-driving cars. Some of the self-driving cars will have a mechanical dash cam that will be useful to avoid mechanical blackmail from mechanical pedestrians. After some noise interchange, the self-driving car will continue its route until it arrives at its mechanical home and uploads the mechanical dash cam video of that stupid mechanical pedestrian to mechanical Youtube.

      Some mechanical vodka may be involved in the process.

  • (Score: 1) by RedGreen on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:19PM

    by RedGreen (888) on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:19PM (#103005)

    So what is the matter with using the unpopulated areas there from what I have seen reported vast areas of it are a wasteland, bonus is cash saved in re-use I'm a cheap SOB, but that probably gets in the way of the inevitable government grants for the project the good old corporate welfare scheme...

    --
    "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
    • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:37PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:37PM (#103022) Journal
      I just came to post the exact same thing.
      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
    • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Tuesday October 07 2014, @02:07PM

      by CoolHand (438) on Tuesday October 07 2014, @02:07PM (#103034) Journal

      Exactly what I was going to post! Seems like a near-perfect solution. (yeah, some people might be a bit unhappy if they have to relocate, but a few of those billions would go a long way to assuage that)

      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bob_super on Tuesday October 07 2014, @03:38PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday October 07 2014, @03:38PM (#103101)

      There are still a few inhabitants, and I don't know that autonomous cars are ready yet for "where did the manhole cover go" and bullet-dodging.

  • (Score: 1) by xorsyst on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:25PM

    by xorsyst (1372) on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:25PM (#103012)

    I wonder how varied this will be to alternative road systems around the world, or whether this will be based on US-systems only. Given that most GPS systems still don't do roundabouts very well, I'm not holding out much hope for driverless cars in Europe.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07 2014, @01:32PM (#103019)

      There are driverless cars developed in Europe. If anything, I expect them to be better at European than at American roads.

      Sure, they don't get as much press coverage as Google's car, but then, I couldn't name another American one that gets either.

    • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Tuesday October 07 2014, @04:32PM

      by Dunbal (3515) on Tuesday October 07 2014, @04:32PM (#103160)

      Heh, come to Panama if you want to see human systems not doing round-abouts well either. I'm betting that an automated system would actually improve things here.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07 2014, @06:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07 2014, @06:52PM (#103255)

      roundabouts suck

  • (Score: 2) by BradTheGeek on Tuesday October 07 2014, @02:58PM

    by BradTheGeek (450) on Tuesday October 07 2014, @02:58PM (#103073)

    Why not use places like Fort Ord?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Ord [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07 2014, @03:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07 2014, @03:26PM (#103087)

      Probably because the US gov owns the land and the car companies do not want to hassle with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. As most of it has been designated a 'nature reserve'.