The problem with driving in the rain at night is not that headlights aren't bright enough. They're actually too bright, the reflections off the raindrops momentarily blinding the driver.
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.
After the DARPA dust settled, only 40 minutes separated the first, second and third place contenders for this year's $2 million bounty. The Carnegie Mellon team, behind the virtual wheel of a tech'd-out Tahoe dubbed the "Boss," won the DARPA Urban Challenge, the first event held in a mock city environment.
Carnegie Mellon has some interesting research going on these days. Those who oppose hydrogen as a fuel source (electricity) have quite a few problems to hang their hats on. For one, where to get the hydrogen from? Yes, it is abundant, but it is tied up with other stuff... making things such as water. Much of the hydrogen currently in use is captured from natural gas, which is expensive and has dubious environmental benefits. Another problem is hydrogen storage. What do you do with the hydrogen o
Remember William "Red" Whittaker? He is the ex-marine turned college prof that competed in both the 2004 and 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge with a pair of autonomous H1 HUMMERs named H1ghlander and Sandstorm. Unfortunately for Red, neither HUMMER was able to beat Stanley, the autonomous Volkswagen Touareg from Standard, in last year's challenge that actually saw competitors finish the course for the first time.
We all know the basic facts about the DARPA Grand Challenge that pitted over 20 autonomous vehicles against each other and the elements out in the Mojave Desert last October. After watching the NOVA special The Great Robot Race on PBS last night the entire enterprise has taken on a whole new dynamic thanks to the excellent backstory provided by the program that reaches all the way back to the first DARPA Grand Challenge in 2004.