Autonomous Cars – The Next Revolution Looms

by Alexander Hars, Jan. 2010

If only technical issues mattered, driverless vehicles would soon be common place: After 40 years of research the  technology is close to leaving the prototype stage: Late in 2007 six autonomous vehicles successfully completed  a 90 kilometer test course of simulated urban traffic. The completely driverless cars had to obey California  Driving Rules, watch traffic lights, avoid other cars, negotiate their turn at four-way intersections, etc.

Despite of these successes, little progress will be made (except, unfortunately, on the battlefield) as long as our  societies continue to ignore the huge social, economic and environmental benefits of this technology.  In this paper, we examine how automated vehicles will fundamentally change our transportation infrastructure and  provide the opportunity to make our societies better – less dependent on oil, less-resource consuming, with  less carnage on the roads and with more freedom for the old, young and underprivileged. Full paper (pdf).

Autonomous Cars and Society

by Alex Forrest, Mustafa Konca, 2007

This paper gives information about the history and technology of autonomous vehicles. To evaluate the socio-economic effect of the autonomous vehicles, we review the benefits and economic savings that will emerge as a result of the introduction of autonomous cars in the economy. Impacts on safety, traffic flow, fuel economy, professional driving and culture are some of the important issues mentioned in this report. Full paper (pdf)

Liability and Regulation of Autonomous Vehicle Technologies

by Nidhi Kalra, James Anderson and Martin Wachs (2009)

Looks at liability and regulatory issues related to driverless vehicles. Makes policy recommendations. Full paper (pdf)

Perception for urban driverless vehicle: design and implementation

by Rodrigo Benenson (2008), PhD Thesis

Excellent introduction into driverless cars. Includes an analysis of safety issues and describes many of the problems and algorithms (SLAM-based) for automated driving in urban settings. The full thesis is available online.



3 thoughts on “Publications

  1. This tech will have as big of an impact upon our world as the nretinet has had. The software being developed here will be the foundation of all robots that we are about to being to share our world with and the innovation that explode from this development will change every aspect of our lives.

    • As a professional truck dverir (University educated), I object to the notion that trucking is a fall-back job for the unskilled. Although it is not rocket science, it is a demanding job requiring many skills besides sitting behind the wheel. You need maturity, a responsible attitude, patience and, often, very quick thinking. Truckers usually work around 80 hours per week and good truckers can make 80-100 K per annum. Society doesn’t pay you that kind of money for nothing. Truckers bring you all of the goods that you need or want in your stores. Imagine how our society would function if we suddenly went back to the horse and buggy days? A computer may be able to do some of the work driving down the highway, but I wonder how it would cope with tight docks, inclement weather, irate dverirs, bad road design or mechanical failures? Furthermore, society needs to address the issue of providing a livelihood for people that have been made obsolete. Simply telling them that they’re out of luck and they can just starve to death and go to hell isn’t going to cut it. We need a new social paradigm to deal the millions of people who are or will be replaced by technology. The people who become fabulously rich from new technology will HAVE to share with the ones who are displaced by it or we will have a huge social upheaval coming our way on par with the French Revolution. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

      • They already do. In Europe.Take a Ford Focus for exmalpe: the European version has a much sportier suspension, with IRS and is known for good handling.The N.American version? Corners like a cow. But that’s because the roads in N. America have much fewer corners. So the cars made for that market are catered to the buying public and to the driving environment.

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