Sam Philip12 May 2010

Look, no hands! Or feet! Or…

Self-driving VW Passat learns to do slidey J-turns. The robots have turned evil!

A couple of years ago, VW and Stanford University built an autonomous Passat called Junior. He was clever. He won DARPA's Urban Challenge, a contest that sees self-driving cars taking on a simulated city environment and frequently bumping into things.

And now Stanford has taught Junior to do Bad Stuff. Bad Good Stuff.

Like J-turn slidey parallel parking.

Watch the video below to see Junior - who uses a combination of GPS, lasers, radar and sensors to navigate around - perform a most excellent parking manoeuvre. Good work, Junior.

 

This, clearly, represents true technological progress: once you've taught the machines to drive sensibly, you can teach them to drive irresponsibly. Don't forget the Stanford team are planning to send a self-driving Audi TT up Pikes Peak this year.

So, question for the day: what would you teach your self-driving car to do? 

Sam Philip

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