Aussie students create driverless car powered by smartphone

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

A group of students at Griffith University has been awarded a Queensland iAward for developing an autonomous car that is driven by a smartphone.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

The driverless vehicle is already on the road, and there's a lot to look forward to — especially as the technology is refined and improved.

A team of Information and Communications Technology students from Griffith University in Queensland may have found one way already: using smartphone technology.

The prototype car — about the size of a toy pedal car — has a smartphone mounted on the front and uses several of the phone's features for autonomous driving. The phone's camera is used to identify the lanes, while the phone's GPS is used for navigation.

Team members included Tommi Sullivan from the Bachelor of Information Tech (Honours), Michael Lennon from the Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronic Engineering and Yukito Tsunoda from the Bachelor of Information Technology (Advanced Honours) in Computing and Intelligent Systems.

"A normal unmanned vehicle would usually use a camera or a different sensor or a Ladar on the top, but the uniqueness in this car is that most of the sensors are used from the mobile phone," Sullivan said.

Tsunoda added, "Our ultimate goal is to implement our program and drive the car in the public environment, and we hope to one day see people using their smartphone to drive their cars in a real-life situation."

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