Oxford University invents self-driving electric car powered by an iPad

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Google has been working on a self-driving car for long time now. Japan just recently introduced self-driving trucks. Of course the British don’t want to be left out, so they got in on the action. Researchers at Oxford University have developed a self-driving electric car — that is powered by an iPad.

Oxford’s approach to self-driving is more along the lines of the auto-pilot (auto-drive) shown off in many sci-fi movies as opposed to the self-driving cars shown of iRobot. You see Oxford’s car has an iPad built-in which learns — with the help of cameras, lasers, GPS, a computer, and more — regular routes you drive. Then whenever you pass those regular routes, the car prompts you to allow it to take over; if you accepts, the car proceeds to drive on its own.

To be fair, Oxford University didn’t invent the car itself. Rather, they invented the self-driving technology and fitted it inside the Nissan Leaf, an electric car in its own right. However, that doesn’t make Oxford’s car any less cool.

Check out the following videos showing this car in action:

Currently this automation technology costs around £5,000 but the researchers working on it have a “long-term goal is to produce a system costing around £100″. No word on how long-term “long-term” is.

[via ArsTechnica]

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5 comments

  1. sunrise

    [@Jimbo] i think this car using the same method like robot walk using path line. Maybe that’s why the car stay in the middle of road which have line to separate the roadline (sorry if you confuse read my comment since english is not my mother tongue :D)

  2. jayesstee

    Reckon the local kids will have fun stepping out in front of it and causing it to stop – until they mistake a regular car for a ‘robotcar’!
    I would like one, just for the option of it getting itself out of the garage on a cold, dark morning.
    @Ashraf: You used the word “car”. Did you realize that you’re starting to speak Brit-English? Welcome aboard.