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Published on : Sep 10, 2013


On the face of it, this car looks a lot like a 2011 Cadillac SRX, but delve a little deeper and you shall notice that it\'s a modern engineering marvel. In a breakthrough that could change the way we travel, a team of researchers led by a scientist of Indian-origin have developed a driver-less car that is also crash-proof.

The car, developed by the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), has been designed to autonomously maneuver its way through congested roads and traffic. This ambitious project was carried out under the aegis of CMU\'s transportation research center and the CMU-General Motors Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab.

The car can accomplish critical tasks such as changing lanes, merging and parking with radars, lidars and infrared cameras constantly providing inputs to the car\'s software system.

These, and many more features of the car were tested during a 53-km trial drive from Cranberry, Pasadena to Pittsburgh International Airport in US. During the trials though, a human was in the driver\'s seat as a precautionary measure. However, the maneuvering and driving was entirely carried out by the car\'s sophisticated software.

This car is a definitive step towards implementing autonomous driving technology in our everyday lives. This car is different from previous versions of self-drive vehicles in that it doesn\'t feature expensive sensors. Instead, all the automotive-grade lidars and radars are embedded all around the vehicle in a discreet fashion. These embedded radars and lidars enable the vehicle to spot obstacles such as pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles, speed breakers, traffic cones and so on.  Passengers in the car receive constant updates about obstacles and warnings via a human-like voice.

Besides making travel safer, this landmark self-driving vehicle will give people more quality time during commutes.