Google isn't alone on the road to commercialize driverless cars. Researchers at the National University of Defense Technology in China recently debuted an autonomous vehicle of their own that could give the technology giant a run for its money.
In a partnership with China's First Auto Works, university researchers equipped a Hongqi HQ3 sedan with cameras, sensors, and a computer that enables it to start, navigate traffic, and stop without help from a driver. The autonomous vehicle made a 154-mile journey on a busy freeway from the Hunan province's capital of Changsha to Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province, in 3 hours and 20 minutes.
The driverless Hongqui HQ3 doesn't use GPS technology to figure out where it is or how to get where it's going. Rather, it relies solely on its cameras and sensors to watch for traffic, obey speed limits, and make lane changes. Its computer is capable of making driving decisions in 40 milliseconds compared with the 500 milliseconds a human driver takes, and because the HQ3 can respond more quickly to traffic scenarios, it's theoretically safer. … Read more