Thursday, December 2, 2010

Machine vision, Italian style

Italians are famed the world over for, amongst other things, their love of beautiful cars, but a few years from now will they be driving their Ferraris or merely riding in them?

The Autonomous Vehicle,” (AIA web site, November 17th, 2010,) is an overview of a system developed by university spinoff VisLab that provides machine vision-based control of an automobile. I don’t need to give you all the details here because they’re available by clicking the link above, but I will tell you that it’s a fascinating insight into where our technology is heading.

My projection is that once governments learn that autonomous vehicles are completely feasible they’ll rush – on the grounds of safety – to mandate the technology in every new car. In fact I’m pretty sure that by 2025 it will not be possible, and maybe not even legal, to actually drive a car yourself. Machine vision will be in control.

And for this we’ll be able to thank the nation that gave us Alfa, Lancia, Ferrari, Lamborghini, oh yes, and Fiat. Well, I suppose that’s progress.

If you’re interested in seeing the autonomous vehicle in action, here’s a short video. The commentary is in Italian but YouTube will also offer up a list of related videos, so there’s a lot of info available.

No comments: