Two electric Piaggio Porter have traveled a journey of 13,000 kilometers in three months. One of these vehicles went without a driver, being led automatically by computers on board.
The Italians from VisLab made two automatic vehicles which surveyed a 13,000 km trip. The purpose of Milan to Shanghai roadtrip was to gather important information and to improve the intelligence of computer-controlled vehicles.
The first vehicle had a driver at all times when it was on the move, and its purpose was to drive a car through the difficult areas that had not been mapped so far.
The second vehicle, however, had no driver and went behind the first vehicle. Although it had the capacity to do so, the purpose of the second vehicle wasn’t to imitate the maneuvers and the movements made by the first vehicle, but to track the GPS information and to use scanners to follow the right path and to avoid the obstacles.
The two Piaggio Porter models were equipped with solar panels to power the many processors and sensors that have been used throughout the journey. The maximum speed of these models is 60 km/h and they have been moved only four hours a day, every day. The reason is closely related to the autonomy of the two models, significantly reduced by the equipment. In the future, the Italian researchers will use models equipped with gasoline to make those trips faster.
Italians from VisLab seeks to develop automated vehicle that can carry passengers from point A to point B safely and without any problems. The difficulty with this technology and the significant differences of the road standards in the countries of the world prevent them to carry out this system any time sooner.
Image source: Automarket