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Tasmanian 'Smart Car' Can Override Driver Error: Report

February 14, 2002

Researchers at the University of Tasmania, Australia, claim to have developed the world's first smart car that can override driver error and reduce road accidents, according to Matthew Brace in Sydney."In terms of a comprehensive central processing unit working as an artificial brain to make driving safer, this is a world first," said project leader Dr. Vishy Karri.The "Intelligent Car" has an onboard driver override system, similar to the principle used by Airbus planes, which can negate pilot error. While existing in-car computers assume what the vehicle can and cannot do, the Intelligent Car research is testing those assumptions under all possible circumstances to give a much more realistic and centrally controlled safety analysis.The university's full-size prototype operates with chassis and engine sensors, which feed an artificial neural network, and which in turn calculates what the car should be doing to maximize safety, according to the researchers.If a driver is taking a curve too fast the car overrides the approach pattern by changing brake pressures and reducing the rpm. Eventually the car will have "eyes" to detect road signs and assess if it is travelling in a built-up or country area, the researchers claim.Researchers say the goal is to use this technology in commercial and domestic vehicles. Germany's leading school of mechanical engineering at the University of Straslund has agreed to collaborate on further developing the car, according to the researchers.
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