A driverless car (sometimes called a self-driving car, an automated car or an autonomous vehicle) is a robotic vehicle that is designed to travel between destinations without a human operator. To qualify as fully autonomous, a vehicle must be able to navigate without human intervention to a predetermined destination over roads that have not been adapted for its use.

Companies like Audi, BMW, Ford, Google, General Motors, Volkswagen and Volvo are developing and/or testing driverless cars include. Google's test involved a fleet of self-driving cars navigating over 140,000 miles of California streets and highways. One accident occurred during one of the infrequent occasions when a human was driving. Another test of over 1000 miles was successfully completely with no human intervention. 

Self-driving or “autonomous” vehicles use a variety and a combination of techniques such as radar, laser light, GPS, odometry, and computer vision to detect their surroundings. Advanced systems that manages, commands, directs or regulates the behavior of other devices or systems interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths along with identifying obstacles and relevant traffic and road signs. Autonomous vehicles have control systems that are capable of analyzing sensory information in order to distinguish between different cars on the road. This is very useful when planning a path to the desired destination.

History of Self-Driving Vehicles

The first self-driving cars appeared in the 1980s, with Carnegie Mellon University's Navlab (developed by the The Robotics Institute) and ALV projects in 1984 and Mercedes-Benz and Bundeswehr University Munich's Eureka Prometheus Project in 1987. In 1995, CMU’s NavLab5 completed its the first autonomous coast-to-coast drive of the United States. The drive between Pittsburgh, PA and San Diego, CA, was 2,849 miles where 2,797 miles were autonomous (98.2%). The “autonomous” drive was completed with an average speed of 63.8 miles per hour (102.3 km/h).


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DARPA Urban Challenge

The DARPA Urban Challenge (2004-2013) was a prize competition for American autonomous vehicles, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The initial DARPA Grand Challenge was created to develop the  technologies needed to create the first fully autonomous ground vehicles that would be capable of completing a substantial off-road course within a limited time. The third DARPA Urban Challenge was extended to autonomous operation in a mock urban environment.

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  1. Human-Robot Interaction: The study of interactions between humans and robots. It is often referred as HRI by researchers.

  1. Smart Cities & IOT:

  2. An urban development vision to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of things (IoT) technology in a secure fashion to manage a city's assets.

  3. Self-Driving Vehicles:

  4. Vehicles that are capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input.

  1. Cognitive Computing:

  2. The simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model involving self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works.


  1. Self-Driving Cars:

  2. How It Will Work

  3. HRI: Yaskama Motomon/WatsonPaths

  4. Smart Cities’ Efforts


  1. For Citizens

  2. For Researchers

  3. For Municipalities


  2. AI Matters: Features an article about the panel.

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