Robot Car Gains Extreme Maneuverability, Drives Itself

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A robot car on its own is pretty cool, but couple that with the ability to learn new maneuvers and perform just as good if not better than James Bond; and you have something pretty damn awesome.

Meet Junior, created by Stanford University, the robot car that took home second place in the 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge. It has learned a few things since then, most noteworthy is it’s ability to decide to follow traditional physics models when driving or just try and repeat a past performance.

And what’s cooler than pulling off a 180 degree turn into a cramped parking space? A robot car doing it. Junior is testing the limits of what robot cars can do, and it’s pushing the boundaries of automated systems to new heights, not to mention how badass they are looking.

Above is a video of the 180 degree turn.

What is more impressive than the feat itself is the way the car chooses to do it. Stanford has given the car a choice as to whether to follow traditional models of driving or mimic a move it has seen before. Below is a video explaining the difference between the two.

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Junior’s methodology can place the car within two feet of its target every time, that’s great but not good enough for anyone to hand the controls over just yet. But this sliding maneuver shows more than just badass driving skills, it shows Junior’s ability to switch cleanly between two driving styles; and that is what will make all the difference when these things eventually take passengers out on the road.

Source: Singularity Hub

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