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NASA's Self-Driving Perseverance Mars Rover 'Takes the Wheel'

By NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

July 7, 2021

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed an auto-navigation system that will allow the Perseverance rover on Mars to drive itself.

The AutoNav system can create three-dimensional maps of terrain ahead and plan a route around any hazards it identifies without additional input from the rover team on Earth.

JPL's Vandi Verma said, "We have a capability called 'thinking while driving.' The rover is thinking about the autonomous drive while its wheels are turning."

AutoNav and other improvements could boost Perseverance's top speed to 393 feet per hour, compared to 66 feet per hour for its Curiosity predecessor.

From NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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