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Australia Says Its First Self-Driving Car Can 'navigate Without Driver Input'


Tesla's Model SD has Autopilot, which can detect collision risks, and a camera to monitor road activity.

Self-driving cars sporting Tesla shells as their exterior and featuring technology from German manufacturer Bosch were to be tested on Australia's public roads beginning this week.

Credit: Tesla

An autonomous automobile developed by German manufacturer Bosch in collaboration with the Australian government were to be tested on Australia's public roads this week.

The cars, which employ video cameras, radar, LiDAR, and global-positioning systems to sense their environment, reportedly are designed to navigate roads with or without driver input.

University of Southern California professor Jeffrey Miller suggests the six LiDAR sensors in the vehicle indicate Bosch depends more on LiDAR than on cameras for situational awareness.

Carnegie Mellon University's John Dolan says the sensors are "fairly standard for research-level autonomous cars," although he notes the stereo cameras are less common.

Miller and other experts agree it is problematic to assess how advanced the cars are without specifics on how many test miles they have driven, and it also remains uncertain whether they are superior to other models currently on the road.

University of South Carolina School of Law professor Bryant Walker Smith cites the fact that claims of the technology's superiority are less distinctive than the caveats, especially considering a person is still needed for possible supervision or intervention.

Smith also stresses the need to use proper terminology to talk about the vehicle while keeping the facts apart from the hype.

From TechRepublic
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