“One has to wonder if the Google guys kept a stiff upper lip when they learned that the U.K.’s Oxford University is working on developing a self-driving car controlled by Apple’s iPad,” BA McKenna reports for The Motley Fool. “The project is called ‘Auto Drive’ and involves a modified Nissan Leaf electric vehicle.”
“Many are aware that Google is considered the leader in the fully autonomous vehicle race, as its project’s progress is well publicized,” McKenna reports. “It’s lesser known that some other tech companies and most of the major auto companies are also involved in developing semi-automatic or automatic driverless systems. Volkswagen is especially well along in its efforts. Over the years, it has collaborated with Stanford University teams on several projects… Several automakers – such as BMW, Volvo, and Nissan — have said their driverless vehicles will be available by 2020. Many believe driverless vehicles will be commonplace within 15-20 years.”
McKenna reports, “Oxford’s iPad-controlled Nissan Leaf ‘Auto Drive’ project is led by Professor Paul Newman of Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science, and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Its initial goal is to achieve an economical middle-ground between today’s human-controlled cars and fully autonomous vehicles. The team has been working on the technology for two years, and received and retrofitted the Leaf last September.”
“Apple’s iPad, which is fitted into the dashboard, is the human-car interface. In addition to the iPad, the system is comprised of cameras, lasers, and discreet sensors built into the vehicle, and an additional computer in the trunk,” McKenna reports. “When the system recognizes an area, the iPad signals to the driver that the ‘auto drive’ option is available. Touching the screen activates the auto drive. Switching back to manual control is done via a tap on the brake.”
Much more in the full article here.