If you're really looking forward to the day when your car says, "You just relax, Dave, and let me do the driving," it just got a little bit closer. GM and Carnegie Mellon University have announced a 5-year, $5 million Collaborative Research Laboratory (CRL) to do work on autonomous vehicles.
Carnegie Mellon's Tartan Racing entrant in last year's DARPA Urban Challenge, Boss (pictured), was the first across the line. The winning partnership and the $2 million winners check made it a natural fit for the two to combine on further research now that the major technical issues have been mostly addressed. The two parties also have another CRL, separate from the autonomous research, that has been going on for eight years.
The autonomous research will be focused on developing the underlying technologies for autonomous vehicles. According to Professor Rajkumar, "Autonomous vehicles will change the face of transportation by reducing deaths and injuries from automobile accidents and increasing the convenience and comfort of vehicles." Until they become self aware and decide to take over the Skynet system, at least...