AI News, Autonomous Car Sets Record in Mexico

Autonomous Car Sets Record in Mexico

An experimental self-driving car hasset a record for an autonomous road trip in Mexico.

“We covered 250 to 300 miles daily, so it took a week to arrive to Mexico City,” said Raul Rojas, a visiting professor of robotics and intelligent systems math atthe University of Nevada, Reno, in a press release.“Some parts of the highway were scary, but we had no important safety incidents.” The2,414-kilometer(1,500-mile)Mexico road trip took place along Mexico’s Highway 15.

About five percent of theroute includedconstruction work and potholes.But the bigger challenge for the self-driving carcame from the lack of lane markings along lengthy stretches of highwaydue to repaving work over the summer.

one person kept an eye on the road inthe driver’s seat and one person watched the computer and navigation systems to see what moves the autonomous car planned to do next.

Self-driving car makes 1,500-mile Mexican road trip

SAN FRANCISCO — A University of Nevada-Reno researcher said he recently completed a 1,500-mile road trip across Mexico behind the wheel of his autonomous car, an impressive milestone in the pursuit of fully automated vehicles that can find their way in a variety of conditions.

“This is a new challenge, a next step to learn and develop systems, to learn ways to solve new problems for driverless cars,” Rojas said in a statement following the ride, which concluded Tuesday. “Most of the trip was highway, but there are many different issues such as construction sites, urban areas in between, potholes and so on.

In the case of the Mexican highway, there is construction work and potholes in around 5% of the segments.” Testing self-driving cars in real-world situations is considered pivotal to creating machines that will know how to behave regardless of what the road and its environment steer their way.

One branch is working on tech that would allow drivers to let the car take control during particular kinds of driving situations including high-speed trips, while the other, typified by Google, is building a machine that would get rid of steering wheels and pedals and shuttle urban dwellers around at low speeds.

A significant issue is the absence of lane markings in long segments of the highway that have been just repaved after damaging Pacific thunderstorms over the summer.” The team took turns as safety drivers: one to watch the road and one to watch over the computer and navigation systems.

Autonomous car finishes record-setting trip in Mexico

Admit it, you've tried driving, at least for a very short time, with no hands on the steering wheel.

With several terabytes of data describing the highways, and with specialized software, the onboard computer guided the car on city streets and highways through the Sonoran Desert, along the west coast of Mexico, up to Guadalajara and then to its final destination of the National Polytechnic University, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, in Mexico City.

'This is a new challenge, a next step to learn and develop systems, to learn ways to solve new problems for driverless cars,' Rojas, who holds a joint appointment with Freie University of Berlin in Germany, said.

This trip along Mexico's Highway 15 sets, by far, a new personal best for Rojas, as his autonomous car, a 2010 Volkswagen Passat Variant, had already driven 190 miles round trip between Berlin and Leipzig, Germany.

The car is equipped with a highly precise GPS system and specialized equipment that allows it to follow a pre-set route, and then drive on its own with other systems controlling speed, direction and braking.

After the Volkswagen Passat's arrival on campus a month ago from Berlin, where Rojas had been conducting research at Freie University, the team mapped the complete route from Reno to Mexico City, gathering GPS data and integrating speed limits and other factors into the software.

'Autonomous cars require special maps in order to operate safely, maps in which the number of lanes, the structure of the highway markings and also the position of exits, intersections and possibly of traffic lights are marked,' Rojas said.

Rojas is working to build autonomous vehicle systems that will perform in any situation the car may encounter and ultimately become the transportation system of the future.

If a human can drive with two eyes, I am sure that we will be able to drive autonomously with a computer the size of a notebook and just a handful of video cameras in just a few more years.'

He has offered courses about economics, mathematics and computer science spanning from functional programming, artificial intelligence, architecture of symbolic machines and pattern recognition up to seminars on quantum computing, simulation of biological neurons and fractal geometry.

Consumer Confidence in Self-Driving Technology Is Increasing, AAA Study Finds

Active legislation in Congress, known as the Self Drive Act in the House and the AV Start Act in the Senate, could bring this issue to the forefront of public safety concerns.

A 2017 study conducted by the MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium found that only 13 percent of respondents felt comfortable allowing a car to take complete control during an entire trip.

Bryan Reimer, a research scientist at MIT’s AgeLab, which conducted the study, told Consumer Reports that despite the apparent contradictory results, he believes the overall results from these self-drive studies bode well for growing consumer acceptance.