Italy to China In Driverless Vehicles Possible?

July 21, 2010

With the latest technology, engineers are taking a journey from Italy to China in driverless vehicles! The 8,000 mile trip will take about 3 months, and they are actually hoping for things to go wrong! Interested? Keep reading for all the details, including a great video below.

People have long been trying to figure out the technology of how to travel on road better without the need of a “pilot.” This latest advancement is just in the beginning of trials, so we won’t know for a while how well they did. My question was what makes this one so different?

Well I know their focus in the trial of going from Italy to China in driverless vehicles is to see what actually fails with the vans. I feel that is the right attitude to have, because if this type of technology is ever going to work “seamlessly,” they need to know what all to be prepared for.

“What we are trying to do is stress our systems and see if they can work in a real environment, with real weather, real traffic and crazy people who cross the road in front of you and a vehicle that cuts you off,” said project leader Alberto Broggi.

They are making the trek with two orange vans, and each is equipped with an actual person for when instances arise that the automobiles can’t handle. They do predict that even if it is very successful, people will still need to be involved somehow.

“We will definitely need some help by humans. It is not possible to have 100 percent driverless. This is why I call it a test, not a demonstration.”

Though many people have been very intrigued by the prospect, there are some who ask why do we even need anything like this? Though, doesn’t that seem to be the way with every new gadget (the computer, cell phone, etc.)?

“It begs the question why. In Australia, you have big trucks with three or four trailers attached in the desert. Why do you need an autonomous vehicle if you can connect them with a piece of steel?” said Andrew Close, an analyst at IHS Automotive.

I think it would be great to be able to move bulk things without having to have someone be alert and sit in a not so comfortable truck for long periods of time. They also see other possibilities for this technology like using it in military vehicles or by farmers to do handle night farming.

I think it is always intriguing when the latest autonomous car comes out for testing. And this is definitely something worth following as they travel all the way from Italy to China in driverless vehicles! Tell me your thoughts after you check out this video of another such vehicle being tested.

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