Helping autonomous vehicles see around corners

In a paper being presented at next week’s International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), the researchers describe successful experiments with an autonomous car driving around a parking garage and an autonomous wheelchair navigating hallways. When sensing and stopping for an approaching vehicle, the car-based system beats traditional LiDAR — which can only detect visible objects — by more than half a second.

“MIT researchers have developed a system that can sense tiny changes in shadows on the ground to determine if there’s a moving object coming around the corner.” – MIT News

Such advances in system development will allow autonomous cars one day to quickly avoid a potential collision either with another car or pedestrian. Same technology may be useful in robots who may navigate hospital hallways to make medication or supply deliveries.