How Intelligent Cars Will Make Driving Easier and Greener

But in some ways, the world of self-governing cars is already upon us. Using relatively simple software and adjustments to existing hardware, major automakers in the U.S. and Europe are making cars work smarter and greener in a way that has nothing to do with hybrid engines or alternative fuels. Connected to each other and to the cloud, cars will be able to make their own decisions — so the future of driving, put simply, will be largely out of human hands…

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University built a simulation that can prove such a system’s safety, even with multiple cars performing multiple complicated tasks. A team led by Andre Platzer, an assistant professor of computer science, started with just two cars in one lane. Then they added more cars to show it can work with an arbitrary number of vehicles, and added more lanes to show that number can vary, too. Ultimately, the system remains crash-proof regardless of the vehicles or lanes involved — on a straight highway, that is. Future simulations will have to account for variables like curved roads, Platzer said in a CMU release.