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Unc Explores Future of Transportation

By WNCN.com

July 13, 2015

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University of North Carolina (UNC) researchers are working with General Motors (GM) to create data for a more reliable, safe, and less expensive autonomous car.

The UNC researchers used $300,000 in funding from GM and $1 million from the U.S. National Science Foundation to determine how to fit more computing power in a car in a realistic setting. The team's goal is to give an autonomous car the reliability of a human's split-second thinking.

"If you think about the amount of information that comes to the human brain, the vast majority of it is visual information and a big chunk of our brain is dedicated to this," says UNC professor Alexander Berg.

Google has been experimenting with self-driving cars since 2009. Although Google's autonomous vehicles have driven 1.8 million miles since then, they also have been involved in several accidents, but Google says all of them were the result of human error, and more research is needed.

Still, most experts agree with the development of autonomous vehicle technology and believe the future of ground transportation does not have humans behind the wheel. "Folks may look back at us today and wonder, 'Why did these people ever try to drive these cars themselves?'" says UNC professor Jim Anderson.

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