EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 7, 2012

Self-driving cars approaching fast -- and safely


GM engineer Jim Nickolaou said the bridge’s “intricate metal design and traffic volume” helped his team tune radar sensors to separate permanent objects such as cables and guardrails from vehicle traffic.

“Metal structures can confuse some types of radar into sensing a vehicle or obstacle is approaching, causing an unnecessary warning or action from the safety systems,” he said.

GM and other automakers are taking incremental steps toward autonomous vehicles instead of attempting Google’s approach of building a vehicle that can operate entirely on autopilot.

“We can add more functions over time,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer of research and innovation at Ford. “We need to keep the driver in control and bring those technologies to the market in a way that is affordable.”

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