Wow, every time I look I find a new group working on driverless cars.
The Wildcat has been in research and development for over 5 years at BAe. It is an off-road, 4×4 production car from Bowler that has been modified to run driverless. A central computer guided by wireless data, GPS, and laser range sensors, can steer, brake, and control the car’s speed while avoiding obstacles.
The Wildcat is currently being developed and tested on private, controlled roads. It’s not quite ready for public roads, but it may not take too long.
Here are a couple of brief videos to give you a quick overview of the robotics center, the Wildcat, and how it works.
Some interesting Wildcat facts:
- The Wildcat has driven thousands of autonomous miles.
- The Wildcat’s sensors can observe a volume larger than 120,000 squash courts in one second.
- The patented safety system allows the operator to safely monitor, operate and drive the wildcat from the driver’s seat, a chase vehicle or a remote ground station.
- The Wildcat’s software has been demonstrated on over seven different types of vehicle.
- The Wildcat senses and records 1GB of data per second.
- The Wildcat’s software reduces the volume of sensor data by over one million before outputting to the steering, throttle and breaks.
- The Wildcat has a flexible sensor and processing system including multiple on-board gigabit Ethernet, Firewire and fibre networks.