UNSW, GoGet partner on self-driving car project

Car features sensors and a mounted video camera to detect people, other cars

Image credit: The University of New South Wales.

Image credit: The University of New South Wales.

The University of New South Wales Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (rCITI) and car sharing service GoGet have teamed up for a self-driving car project.

The car features four radar sensors and a video camera to detect other cars, pedestrians, cyclists and road infrastructure.

According to rCITI deputy director Vinayak Dixit, researchers will be gathering information from the sensors about how people drive and their interactions with cyclists and other motorists.

"This data is extremely useful when you're trying to develop algorithms for autonomous driving.

"We are in a data collection phase. In the next six months we want to get the car to a semi-autonomous state where it is able to brake on its own and self-park," he said.

"Than we want to get the car driving on its own."

In addition, Dixit said there could be an opportunity to use data collected by the sensors to explore real-time charging schemes for car insurance.

For example, data captured by the vehicle would show if the driver was keeping to speed limits and driving safely. The customer would than pay less for their insurance.

In October 2013, a device called Insurance Box that monitors vehicle speeds was rolled out by insurance firms QBE and NIA Underwriting Agency in conjunction with insurance technology provider SSP.

Insurance Box uses an on-board telematics device and can be fitted to most cars manufactured after 2000. Telematics is the integrated use of telecommunications and informatics.

Dixit said the insurance boxes measure speed rather than how motorists interact with other vehicles.

"What we are trying to do with the car sensors is develop effective risk measurement systems which measure how drivers interact and develop incentives that improve people's driving ability."

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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