CRASH-HAPPY RC CARS MAKE SELF-DRIVING TECH SMARTER

BRIAN GOLDFAIN

THE ROAD IS a messy, chaotic place. Unpredictable drivers. Ice. Gravel tracks. Kids dashing into the road between parked cars. Hard to spot, hydroplane-inducing puddles. Surviving it all means knowing how to slam the pedals or swing the steering wheel without losing control. It’s enough to make any robocar quiver. Moreover, the merciful rarity of these situations also makes them harder to prepare for. No practice, no perfection.

A team of self-driving engineers at Georgia Tech believes practical experience is an essential complement to simulation training. But real, prototype, autonomous vehicles are expensive. It can take an investment of $1 million to build up the sensors, computers, and controls an AV needs. They’re machines to be babied, driven gently, and definitely not taken to aggressive extremes. If they crash, roll, or skid off the road, they could put people in danger, and budgets in the red.

This article was originally sourced from here.

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