Those of Google they are not the only ones cars that drive themselves. The University of Oxford, England, has developed a system that uses a camera and laser beams to create a three-dimensional image of the streets and be able to travel them independently and in complete safety. The computer system is capable of processing a constantly updated mapping and providing, to the automatic pilot, all the useful information for passing through city traffic.
The substantial difference between the system developed by the Oxford University researchers and the one developed by the Google team lies in the reference technology: the English system does not use GPS to determine the position of the car as does the Google Self Driving Car. Professor Poul Newman of the University of Oxford describes his technology as a more advanced system. Professor Newman is not entirely wrong, since automatic driving modes that use only GPS, are unable to guarantee full driving autonomy, which is what the technology developed in Oxford can do.
Professor Newman was able to estimate that such a system could cost around 5,700 euros. The car manufacturer Nissan could adopt this technology by making it an optional of its own Leaf electric cars. There are no rumors about when this technology could be available on the mass market but the conditions are all there. The goal is to make this technology more accessible and reduce production costs by around 100 euros.
The tests were carried out right on board a Nissan Leaf and piloting it was a iPad. The iPad acts as an operations center that analyzes the data collected by the camera and the laser sensor. Based on the information collected, the automatic pilot elaborates and "decide independently " what are the best paths to take. We do not know if the "Self-driving cars"May be safer than cars driven by men of flesh and blood but they will certainly guarantee a minor electricity consumption (or fuel!).