MIT's self-driving car can handle unmapped country roadsBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 7 May 2018 | Categories: News
Self-driving or Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) have come quite far in the past few years, but there are still some growing pains for the technology. One of the hurdles is the dependence on 3D maps in order to navigate city streets and highways. MIT's CSAIL, however, may have set a new benchmark for AVs, with the company recently releasing a video showcasing on their self-driving cars navigating a country road without the need of a 3D map.
It's an important milestone as most AVs have been showcased in urban environments, with none venturing into the wilderness or any kinds of terrain where an extensively detailed 3D map of the environment was at hand.
Working together with Toyota, MIT CSAIL has developed a new navigation system called MapLite which utilises the vehicle's GPS to generate an idea of its location, as well as a general area surrounding the car. The sensors onboard the vehicle then create a path to different GPS-aided locations along the specific route it is taking.
The system is still not perfect though, with Engadget noting that steep changes in elevation and mountain terrains still posing an issue. That said, this is still a significant milestone for AV technology. Check out the car and MapLite in action in the video below.
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