French research powerhouse INRIA intensifies their research on autonomous vehicles. Having participated in various EU projects (Cybercar, Cybercars2, HaveIT) which looked at intelligent transport systems where coordination between cars played a major role and various aspects of driver-assistance systems, they appear to readjust their focus on individual autonomous cars driving in urban traffic. They are offering a 3-year research position for developing a prototype (and completing a doctoral thesis). This work will include cooperation with business partner Valeo, a one-stop provider of all types of sensors needed for autonomous driving.
The project’s initial goal is to develop an autonomous vehicle for driving at slow speeds in urban settings on private roads around Paris. They will have a lot of work to do to catch up to Google’s self-driving car.
If cars can drive themselves, then wuodln’t it make more sense to have them out driving other people instead of sitting in a garage most of the day and night? They could all run like taxis nobody would need a car of their own (which would not only save on construction of home garages, but also dramatically reduce the number of cars in operation, thus saving a lot on car manufacturing).Then again, that would decrease sales so it will never happen.