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Safety, pah! We have robot cars powersliding, say US boffins

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Dorothy Chiaramonte
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That, and the software algorithms developed by Georgia Tech, enables the car to game out over 2,000 projections of where it'll head in the next 2.5 seconds.

The system whose specs have been published for general use performs this calculation 60 times a second and puts the power down as soon as possible for maximum velocity.

In a paper at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, the team detailed how the cars – cosponsored by the US Army Research Office – were able to learn how to handle different tracks via trial and error.

"However, by merging statistical physics with control theory, and utilizing leading-edge computation, we can create a new perspective, a new framework, for control of autonomous systems."

While the research may help keep passengers in autonomous cars safe in difficult driving conditions, it'll be of little help in persuading Congress to allow self-driving cars on US roads.

So the prospect of digital Top Gear presenters bombing around the roads in chipped robo-cars might not be seen as helpful to the cause.

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Dorothy Chiaramonte
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