Soon, driverless cars that think like humans

Written by PTI | London | Updated: Mar 23 2014, 18:52pm hrs
Scientists are developing new technology that will enable the next-generation of driverless cars to mimic humans' decision-making abilities.

Researchers from Stirling University in UK have found that a computer programme which mimics a part of the human brain responsible for decision-making can control a robotic car, including changing lanes, controlling speed and braking.

It can also flawlessly parallel park, according to researchers who will reveal the technology at an international robotics conference at the university, 'The Sunday Times' reported.

"We will describe the next-generation smart car, capable of performing a range of manoeuvres independent of human control," said Erfu Yang, from the university's division of computing science and mathematics.

"No one has demonstrated this kind of autonomous smart driving capability," Yang said.

The next generation of driverless cars will also be able to negotiate roads without prior knowledge of a route, researchers said.

Professor Amir Hussain of Stirling University, who is leading the Stirling project and is chair and organiser of the robotics conference, said: "We now understand more about how humans make decisions in complex situations."

Among the innovations to be showcased at the conference is a robot capable of acting on curiosity in the same way as a human infant.

Researchers at Aberystwyth University will describe how a humanoid robot called iCub can reach out and grasp objects without prompting.

They expect iCub to learn how objects can be used as tools, in the same way as primates and early man.