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

car_take_control [1]

Google has been working on a self-driving car for long time now. Japan just recently introduced self-driving trucks [2]. 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 [3]]