Mechanical engineeers have developed a new safety system for your car, involving what they call an “intelligent copilot,” MIT announced today (July 13, 2012). It only takes over your vehicle when you make a mistake serious enough to cause a collision.
The system uses an onboard camera and laser rangefinder to identify hazards in a vehicle’s environment. The team devised an algorithm to analyze the data and identify safe zones — avoiding, for example, barrels in a field, or other cars on a roadway. The system allows a driver to control the vehicle, only taking the wheel when the driver is about to exit a safe zone. The video above explains more.
Sterling Anderson, a PhD student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Karl Iagnemma, a principal research scientist in MIT’s Robotic Mobility Group, devised this system. I want to see them add this system to the flying car concept. And why not? Airplanes have had autopilot for decades.
Bottom line: Sterling Anderson of MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Karl Iagnemma of MIT’s Robotic Mobility Group have developed what they call an intelligent copilot for cars.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.