Obstacle-Avoidance Algorithm for Autonomous Vehicles


Stanford University engineering students have been testing an obstacle-avoidance algorithm, using a pop-up obstacle they rigged up from a tablecloth and a leaf blower. They have been using X1, a dune-buggy style car that students built for testing autonomous driving programs, to develop the algorithm and see how well it could avoid a pre-programmed obstacle. The students recently tested the algorithm and obstacle at a raceway several hours north of campus. The X1 algorithms swerved the car perfectly to avoid the obstacle while driving right at the edge of the car's handling abilities. The next step involves porting the software into Stanford's autonomous Audi TTS race car and other vehicles, to test obstacle avoidance on the track and under more complex environments and pressures.