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New breed of Robotic Cars team up to share navigational knowledge for safer hands free drive

by gps4us news 2011-10-12 12:38

Google Robotic CarThe suite of best of breed navigational technologies best practices are slowly finding their ways from the exclusively military robotic drone unmanned remotely controlled aircraft and other classified projects, and in to the realm of civilian robotic vehicles projects useful for you and me. Take robotic cars. Google is continuously delivering improvements to Toyota Pruis based Google robotic vehicle. Recent success stories include announcement of extending the project to seven Google (GOOG) robotized Prius'. The mini fleet achieved the milestone of 140,000 miles of collective driving experience. Google and Toyota not only develop robot car technology, but manage to introduce the collective intelligence by sharing in real time the each autonomous robotic cars input into the robotic fleet cumulative knowledge base.

On the surface the robotic car technology uses laser range finders, video cameras, infrared and ultrasonic radars, inertial sensors, and high-detail topographic maps delivered by the satellite high resolution imaging technology, and by the Global Positioning System navigational topographic mapping technology. Numerous source arrays of sensoric, video, imaging, topographic streams of data are computed into the three dimensional virtual surrounding space navigational model. The virtual model can be shared between the robotic fleet autonomous cars, as they communicate with each other and learn from each others driving experience. Safety comes first in the navigational virtual model, so humans, driver and passengers could enjoy  smooth ride in the robotic vehicle. 

Integration of key navigational and high precision positioning coordinates technologies, complimenting each other and filling each others gaps, is represented in the latest robotic vehicle developed by the Oxford University Mobile Robotics Group. Oxford researchers have chosen the WildCat off-roader chassis to create the robotic car which interprets its surroundings on the go and makes smart decisions to choose the optimum path avoiding traffic jams.

The Telegraph - Oxford Wildcat robotic car

The Oxford Wildcat off-roader employ unique navigational model algorithms to ensure the robotic vehicle not only reliably recognizes where it is, but makes one step further selecting the best way to reach the predefined destination, driving itself without human intervention. GPS based navigational technology is perfect to provide the highly precision longitude, latitude and elevation position of the vehicle, but civilian GPS system used on the robotic vehicle has limited accuracy, neither can it sense the presence of other vehicles on the road.

To overcome the GPS system close proximity range limitation and bring the positioning coordinates to the most current real time location, the Wildcat robotic car is equipped with high efficiency sensitive video cameras instantly scanning the road ahead, collecting surrounding information for immediate analysis by the onboard navigation computer to improve navigation precision and increase safety. The Wildcat's advanced laser sensors, cameras, and suite of ultrasonic radars together with advanced autonomous drive virtualization software are responsible for the vehicle ability to pinpoint its location exactly and enable it to timely respond to surrounding environment changes for increased safety while self-driving itself. The Wildcat robotic car does not solely rely on the GPS system to learn as it travels. The robot constantly updates the preloaded three dimensional topographic maps knowledge base stored in the onboard navigational system using advanced close proximity video scanning technology to demonstrate a completely hands free experience to the driver.

The success stories of Google Autonomous robotic fleet vehicles and Oxford robotic Wildcat off-roader technology indicate that the next step to autonomous robotic vehicle innovation leads to finding the extremely well balanced combination of both navigational technologies. Real time GPS information about longitude, latitude and elevation, and real time video streaming information symbiotically computed and interpreted to compliment each other may deliver the next generation of GPS and video based mobile robotics navigational technology, as novel and integrated solution which will make its way into the market-ready robotic car of tomorrow. - Gooogle robotic car

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