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Driverless-Vehicle Options Now Include Scooters


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The autonomous mobility scooter in use.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technologys Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the National University of Singapore, and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, have designed an autonomous mobility scooter.

Credit: Autonomous Vehicle Team, SMART Future of Urban Mobility Project

Researchers have developed an autonomous mobility scooter using the same sensor configuration and software in previous trials of autonomous cars and golf carts.

The scooter was designed by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the National Library of Singapore, and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART).

Trials of the scooter demonstrated the control algorithms' ability to work indoors as well as outdoors. Low-level control algorithms enable the vehicles to respond immediately to changes in their environment, while route-planning, localization, and map-building algorithms enable them to determine their location and route. In addition, a scheduling algorithm allocates fleet resources, and an online booking system lets users schedule rides.

Using the same control algorithms for scooters, golf carts, and cars means information acquired by one vehicle can be shared with others. Software uniformity also translates to greater flexibility in the allocation of resources.

The researchers now are working on equipping vehicles with machine-learning systems to improve the performance of the navigation and control algorithms.

From MIT News
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