Saturday, November 20, 2010

Robotic Cars/Electric

Autopia Planes, Trains, Automobiles and the Future of Transportation
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Audi’s Robotic Car Looks Hot In Old-School Livery

The autonomous Audi TTS that will try to climb Pikes Peak without a driver is packed with leading-edge tech, but Audi went old-school with livery that pays homage to its glory days in rallying.

Audi pulled the wraps off the latest iteration of the robotic car we took a ride in a few months ago, and the livery looks great. The stripes recall those of cars like the awesome Sport Quattro S1 Pikes Peak and Quattro Rallye A2, though the overall look is cleaner.

“We were very much inspired by the Pikes Peak race cars,” Raul Cenan, lead designer on the project, says. “But there was very different technology used in those cars overall. So we decided to go with more modern elements that were heritage-inspired.”

Audi and the guys at the Stanford University Dynamic Design Lab and Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Lab in Palo Alto are constantly tweaking and tuning the 2010 TTS ahead of its ascent up Pikes Peak in September. Pikes Peak is one hell of a place to test an autonomous car — the course is among the most harrowing in motorsports, a flat-out sprint through 156 turns on a 12.4-mile climb to the clouds.

The best drivers attack the route at speeds of up to 130 mph. Chris Gerdes, head of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford, assured us the TTS will be pushed to its limits.

“I want to go up the mountain much faster than anyone with any sense of self-preservation would go,” he told us.

For a rundown of the car’s tech and video of it in action, check out our earlier post, “Audi’s Robotic Car Drives Better Than You Do.”

Photos: Audi. More after the jump.

The livery pays homage to Audi’s best rally cars from a generation ago.

Although the car is packed with sophisticated electronics, the computing system isn’t much more elaborate than a typical laptop. The rest of the car is straight from the showroom. For more on how the car works, check out our earlier post, which includes some video.

The Audi Quattro S1 Pikes Peak racer, which Walter Röhrl drove to the summit in a stunning 10:47.85 minutes in 1987.

World rally champion Hannu Mikkola driving the Audi quattro Rallye A2 Group B at Rally Akropolis in 1984.

Tags: Audi, Auto Racing, Electronics and Gadgets

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Nota: kereta eletrik dibenarkan berada di atas jalan raya tahun depan.

Invented by Alvin Wang (nextbigfuture co-author)

This is a plan to enable the safe early deployment of robotic cars, trucks and buses. The robotic car only zones can start off smaller with 10-100 cars covering 10X10 blocks or so and then expanding as the system is proven. Public transportation would be cheaper and better and enable the start of complete shift to completely robotic driven cars which would be safer than current human driven cars and a reorganization of transportation to be cleaner, cheaper and safer without sacrificing time or convenience. 45,000 people per year in the United States die from traffic accidents and 1.2 million people in the world die from traffic accidents. The effective global implementation of a revamped robotic car system would save all those lives and would not need to cost time or convenience. Time can be saved and the system can be more convenient than the current system of human driven cars.

UPDATE: Brad Templeton had written an excellent series of articles on robocars for public transporation.

Computer driven cars are being developed and tested in the Darpa grand challenge but they are expected to take 20-25 years to be ready for deployment to existing roads with other human piloted cars.

Boss, a robotized 2007 Chevy Tahoe, was the fastest of the 2007 Urban challenge competitors by a large margin. Boss averaged about 14 miles an hour over approximately 55 miles, finishing the course about 20 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, Stanford. It followed California driving laws as it navigated the course and that it operated in a safe and stable manner. So in 2-3 years it should be possible to increase the speed of safe operation up to 30-40 mph, which would be facilitated by adjusting the city streets with electronic markers to make the city course easier for the robot cars.

The Carnegie Mellon team is at this site.

Tartan Racing technology enables Boss to:

Follow rules of the road
Detect and track other vehicles at long ranges
Find a spot and park in a parking lot
Obey intersection precedence rules
Follow vehicles at a safe distance
React to dynamic conditions like blocked roads or broken-down vehicles

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