It’s always cool to see the world through the perspective of a self-driving car. But this video below might be the most incredible example yet.
ScanLAB Projects strapped one of its 3D laser scanners to a Honda CR-V and drove around the streets of their hometown of London. Driven by a human, the car used LIDAR to create a real-time map of its environment.
The video, produced by The New York Times Magazine, shows how far this technology has come, but it also shows it has some way to go. “Their work reveals is a landscape of aging monuments and ornate buildings, but also one haunted by duplications and digital ghosts. The city’s double-decker buses, scanned over and over again, become time-stretched into featureless mega-structures blocking whole streets at a time. Other buildings seem to repeat and stutter, a riot of Houses of Parliament jostling shoulder to shoulder with themselves in the distance. Workers setting out for a lunchtime stroll become spectral silhouettes popping up as aberrations on the edge of the image. Glass towers unravel into the sky like smoke.”
The article also reiterates a hypothetical scenario posed by Illah Nourbakhsh, a robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon University, that would throw a self-driving car for a loop.
Imagine someone wearing a T-shirt with a stop sign printed on it, he told me. “If they’re outside walking, and the sun is at just the right glare level, and there’s a mirrored truck stopped next to you, and the sun bounces off that truck and hits the guy so that you can’t see his face anymore – well, now your car just sees a stop sign. The chances of all that happening are diminishingly small – it’s very, very unlikely – but the problem is we will have millions of these cars. The very unlikely will happen all the time.
[Source:] The New York Times Magazine