Autonomous cars are all of the hype in the technology sector right now. Whereas most people still have to wrap their head around the idea of sitting behind a steering wheel and not driving a car, various companies are working on introducing these vehicles to the mainstream very soon. While everyone knows about the Tesla’s, Google’s and even Renault’s autonomous vehicles, there are quite a few other companies working on this technology which most people aren’t’ aware of.
This company is relatively unknown to most people, even though CMU Navlab has been around for quite some time. The company builds computer-controlled vehicles for automated and assisted driving.
Some of their earlier models even date back to 1984, making them one of the few players who have been working on this technology for decades. Their latest vehicle is called the Navlab 11, a robot Jeep Wrangler packed with more sensors than most other vehicles on the road today.
Do not be mistaken in thinking Continental is not working on autonomous vehicles right now. Their current model in development features four short-range radar sensors and one long-range sensor. Additionally, it features a stereo camera that will allow the vehicle to cruise down an open freeway. On the other hand, the Continental autonomous vehicle is well capable of navigating through rush-hour traffic without any significant issues.
This latter part is of the utmost importance, as autonomous vehicles will need to work well within a city environment as well. Driving long stretches of road can get boring and some form of cruise control makes a lot of sense. However, most people lose a lot of time in traffic within the city itself. Having an autonomous solution to navigate through the mess while the driver does more productive work will display the strengths of autonomous vehicles moving forward.
We briefly touched upon Bosch before, as the company is well known for its vehicle solutions throughout the United States. Interestingly enough, Bosch has been working on autonomous and automated driving solutions for multiple years now. The company took part in the DARPA Urban Challenge and they have been working together with the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab’s Autonomous Driving Team for nearly a decade. Definitely a company to keep an eye on over the next few years.
Some people may have heard the name Baidu before, as it is a popular Asian search engine. Baidu is also active in the world of autonomous vehicles and the company expects to test their self-driving cars in the US very soon. With an office in Sunnyvale, California, Baidu is in close proximity to some of the brightest minds working on similar technologies.
In December of 2015, the company announced their modified BMW 3-series drove an 18.6-mile route without issues. Then again, the real tests will be when it comes to navigating an urban environment. That said, Baidu is still confident their autonomous vehicles will hit the public road by 2018, which would make them one of the first companies to successfully deliver a working product.
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