It is 2013 and the world still does not have jetpacks, Star Trek Replicators, or time machines. But before you give up on your dreams of a high-tech future, listen to what Lexus has just come out with. Their Integrated Safety team was on hand at this year’s CES Show in Las Vegas to show off a self-driving car.
You may remember that I wrote about Google’s Self-Driving Prius as part of my SEMA 2012 coverage. This car works in much the same way as Google’s car: it relies on a multitude of sensors and instruments to safely navigate its way to your destination.
In March of 2004, the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) held a competition in the Nevada desert called the Grand Challenge. The purpose was to determine if an autonomous, driverless car could negotiate a 150-mile off-road course on its own. The prize? A cool one million dollars.
Fifteen teams representing Carnegie-Mellon University and a variety of privately funded teams competed in the Challenge. Each team had equipped their car with a multitude of cameras, sensors, GPS units, and onboard computers in addition to off-road tires and heavy-duty suspensions.
Not one of the fifteen vehicles completed the challenge.