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Computer-Operated Car Takes Congressman for a Ride

Posted By Tamara Lytle On September 6, 2013 @ 1:43 pm In Washington Watch | Comments Disabled

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) yelled at his driver on the way to the airport on Sept. 6, but the driver didn’t even bother to respond.

It was a computer.

Screen shot 2013-09-06 at 10.47.08 AM [1]Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was testing a driverless car, designed by Carnegie Mellon University researchers, on a 30-mile ride to Pittsburgh International Airport.

One of the researchers was positioned in the driver’s seat – just in case. (Or maybe to make sure that people in other cars didn’t freak out on seeing no one in the driver’s seat.)

A video [2] of the experiment shows the man in the driver’s seat gesturing but not steering (though he did once use the steering wheel as a precaution). Cameras, laser sensors and radar help the car steer, check the speed of other traffic and detect pedestrians, road signs and the like.

Discussion: Global Warming – The Crisis Is Now [3]

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch also came along for the trip in the 2011 Cadillac SRX.

At the end of the ride, Shuster gave the invisible driver a round of applause and, on stepping out of the car, said, “Well, my nerves aren’t wracked. It was excellent – it’s amazing.”

He confessed to yelling at the computer but said that it did its thing “without a hitch.”

Shuster told the Associated Press [4] that in addition to making driving safer and more efficient, the technology could also help put unmanned vehicles in combat roles.

Carnegie Mellon developed the car after winning a $2 million competition sponsored by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.


YouTube Preview Image [2]


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Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/06/computer-operated-car-takes-congressman-for-a-ride/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Screen-shot-2013-09-06-at-10.47.08-AM.png

[2] video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt80zt8TCaE

[3] Global Warming – The Crisis Is Now: http://www.aarp.org/online-community/groups/index.action?plckGroupId=Group1472&plckGroupPage=forum#plckforumpage=ForumDiscussion&plckdiscussionid=Cat%3AprivateForum%3A5606be00-fd7c-454b-abb5-f7866b3f5f55%40D%7C9%3B9%7CCommGroupGroup1472%7CDiscussion%3A396605fe-d4f7-4cfa-807c-830cdf27aa24&plckforumpostonpage=1&plckpostid@intcmp=AE-IL-CONT-COMM

[4] told the Associated Press: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/computer-operated-car-transports-pa-congressman

[5] Poker Photo Flushes McCain’s Pastime Into the Open: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/05/poker-photo-flushes-mccains-pastime-into-the-open/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL

[6] Another (Disabled) Senator Heads for the Exit: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/03/27/disabled-senator-heads-for-exit-employees-with-disabilities/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS

[7] Obama Touts Insurance Rebates and Lower Premiums in 2014: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/07/18/obama-touts-insurance-rebates-and-lower-premiums-in-2014/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-ADV

[8] Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM

[9] AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP

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