Can you imagine a future where instead of calling for a cab, an intelligent, unmanned electric car picks you up and drives you where ever you want to go? Or you borrow a car like a shopping trolley and once it has driven you home, it takes itself back to the shops?
While these dreams are still a long way off, Dr Jun Jo from Griffith University’s School of Information and Communication Technology is working on the Vision-based Driverless car project which could help make such things a reality.
Students working with Dr Jo have already developed a full-sized electric car, but they are now looking much further ahead; converting it to Australia’s first driverless car equipped with artificial intelligence systems.
“We are already about to mount a video camera system in the car which will scan the road ahead and tell the vehicle how to avoid dangerous obstacles,” Dr Jun Jo said.
“Then under GPS guidance will we be able to direct the car to a target area,” he said.
There are, however, more steps in the process. A number of research students are working on things like how to get the car to respond to traffic lights and road signs, so it doesn’t end up going up one-way streets the wrong way!
The students involved in the Vision-based Driverless car project cover a broad range of study areas such as Bachelor of IT, Bachelor of Microelectronics and postgraduates students.
The end result will not be a perfect car that anyone will be able to go and buy, but it will provide ideas for the car industry of the future. And clearly it’s not all work. The Driverless car project does provide Dr Jun Jo and his students with a great deal of fun!