Given that MIT in the US is now working on a safer prototype for autonomous vehicles, using communications technology to expand the cars’ field of vision, these vehicles may make the leap from science fiction to reality sooner than previously thought. Driverless cars have already been legalised in California and Nevada, and Google says we’ll see them on the road in five years. Here are the prototypes that have helped the industry get to this point.
The third-place winner at the DARPA Urban Challenge was Odin, a 2005 Ford Hybrid Escape from researchers, faculty and students at Virginia Tech. One of only three that finished the course in less than five hours, Odin came in just seven minutes after the second-place car from Stanford, and just 26 minutes after the first-place winner.