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Looking back at the history of self-driven cars

Looking back at the history of self-driven cars
13 Jun 2017
  • A future filled with autonomous vehicles might not be a distant dream anymore.
  • As it stands 13 of the world's 14 largest automakers, and 12 of the world's 13 largest technology companies have announced plans and partnerships to bring autonomous cars to the market soon.
  • With that in mind, we explore how it all came to be.

  • The idea of driverless cars takes root in modern thought
  • While the idea of a self-driving car can be traced back to Leonardo da Vinci's sketch of a self-propelled cart, it wasn't until the 20th century that concrete efforts were taken to realize the idea.
  • It was only in 1925 that the Houdina Radio Control Company demonstrated a driverless car in the form of a radio-controlled 1926 Chandler on the streets of New York.

  • Driverless car demonstration shapes popular fancy
    In 1926, Achen Motor demonstrated a remote-controlled driverless car called the "Phantom Auto" on the streets of Milwaukee in the USA. The car was taken on a tour of various cities where it drew considerable amounts of curious crowds during the 1920s and the 1930s.

    The world's first stand-alone autonomous vehicle
    Towards automation
  • 1960s onwards, after several failed attempts to improve road technology in a bid to automate transport, researchers turned their attention towards making smarter cars.
  • In 1977, Japan's Tsukuba Mechanical Engineering Laboratory developed what many consider to be the world's first stand-alone autonomous car, where, instead of relying on road technology, the vehicle relied on a computer which analyzed its surroundings using built-in camera imagery.

  • Scientist's demonstration sparks interest in AI for driverless cars
    Shifting to AI
  • In the 1980s, Professor Ernst Dickmanns of the Universitat der Bundeswehr Munchen, Germany, demonstrated with a modified Mercedes that autonomous vehicles could be made to travel at high speeds.
  • Dickmanns' work, which used data-fed computing technology, sparked an interest in using AI to develop autonomous driving technology.
  • Soon after, the European research organization EUREKA invested €749 million in the field of autonomous vehicles.

  • Investment grows on both sides of the Atlantic
    Growing investment
  • Parallel to developments in Europe, investments in autonomous car technology started increasing in the US, with increasing demonstrations of autonomous cars.
  • At the turn of the century, the US military announced the DARPA Grand Challenge to generate innovation in the field. $1 million was offered to teams whose vehicles could complete a 150 mile course. Although none could, the exercise led to important advancements.

  • Big money turns its attention towards self-driving cars
    Big money
  • In 2010, Google announced that it had been secretly developing autonomous car technology, thus joining the race.
  • Several major companies have joined in since then, including Intel, Uber, Tesla, BMW, Volvo, Audi, Ford, Bosch, and lesser-known names like nuTonomy and FiveAI.
  • With more and more research and tests being carried out, it wouldn't be surprising to see major developments in autonomous car technology soon.

  • This post first appeared on NewsBytes: Latest News, Breaking News India, Today News, Current News, please read the originial post: here

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    Looking back at the history of self-driven cars


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