Google has added another patent to its ever-expanding portfolio, this one related to self-driving, autonomous cars. The patent covers a method of shifting between self-driving and autonomous driving mode that utilizes QR Codes (2D bar codes) or RF communications to identify parking spaces.
Google has been testing its driverless car technology for a while now, and as of last year its test fleet had logged more than 140,000 miles (with human operators on board in case of an emergency). The cars operate using artificial intelligence and a video cameras inside the car, a LIDAR sensor on top of the vehicle, radar, and data from Google Street View. Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Energy is keen to see more environmental improvements in the auto industry, and is once again giving eager engineering students a chance to tackle the problem of creating environmentally friendly, commercially viable cars via its EcoCAR competition.
Announced in the spring at the SAE 2011 World Congress, EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future pits 15 university teams against each other in a three-year engineering competition to reduce the environmental impact of an existing vehicle without compromising performance, safety, or consumer acceptability. Winners are vying for $100,000 in cash prizes. Continue reading