Driverless solar powered cars to travel 8,000 miles from Rome to Shanghai
Looks like solar powered unmanned vehicles are proving themselves to be as energy efficient as ever these days. First the Zephyr aircraft, and now this, a pair of driverless cars to set out on a record breaking journey, powered by sun-juice. Rome and Shanghai lie 8,000 miles across, and no one has seriously bothered covering that journey by road before, at least not with solar energy as a fuel. Well, these ones don’t need a driver, using seven cameras and four laser scanners on each car. The cars, or vans as you may choose to call them, use an on-board computer called GOLD: Generic Obstacle and Lane Detector that makes the friendly old polite chauffeur seem boring.
Covering the 8,000 miles of the old Silk Road over three months, this pair of twins was conceived and delivered at the Artificial Vision and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (VisLab) of Italy’s Parma University, and aims to arrive at the Shanghai World Expo. Well, driverless cars are unique, but who wouldn’t love driving a solar powered car!