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VisLab Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge: Inaugural Ceremony – Milan, Italy

July 21st, 2010 by Stu

One morning in the not too distant future, you will climb aboard an autonomously operated pod suspended alongside your apartment and glide to work. As you turn through the crisp pages of a new Wall Street Journal (if they still have newspapers at the point) and sip on a macchiato, the car will follow a pre-determined path to your office or wherever else your program it to go. And because human error has been removed from the equation, say good bye to traffic jams and unfortunate accidents. Sound far fetched? Well, you should know that the orange electric vehicles pictured here departed Milan earlier today for a 3 month journey to Shanghai without any drivers to speak of. That’s 8,000 driverless miles between two continents. If engineers can accomplish this amazing feet, think what they can do in a densely packed urban area with an electric grid at their disposal.

The vehicles are equipped with sensors that allow them to perceive the environment, determine the best reaction, and ultimately drive autonomously. Vislab tells us it will be the first time in history that goods travel between two continents without using traditional fuel and with no driver. You can follow the expedition live on www.IntercontinentalChallenge.eu ; a blog is also available to interact with the engineers testing and following the vehicles. Live video streaming from the vehicles will be available during the whole expedition.

Pictures: Vislab

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  • [...] had just been reupholstered. I’m no math whiz or anything but unless we’re dealing with autonomous vehicles, there must be at least 2 drivers in order to drive 2 vintage sports cars at the same [...]

  • This can’t happen soon enough as far as I’m concerned. Sitting in traffic every day is a huge waste of my time and money. It only takes a few idiots who don’t know how to (or just plain don’t want to) drive correctly on the highway to snarl the whole system. This is one job the robots can have and gladly.