Video of the Week - Self Driving BMW

My video of the week is from one of my favorite TV shows. I really only have time to watch one or two shows a week. Anyone who knows me can tell you that my favorite show now on is Mythbusters. That makes sense, the hosts, Jamie, Adam and Grant, are robot builders and fellow contributors to Robot Magazine. My "fav" second show is Top Gear, which is on BBC America here in the US. This is a very off-the-wall, very British show about cars. Fast cars.

In this video, Jeremy Clarkson meets a self-driving BMW 3-series. I've always found this video amusing because shortly before I saw it, I was at an intelligent vehicle conference, and had lunch with a couple of engineers from BMW, who flat out told me that BMW had no interest in autonomous vehicles, since they were "all about the driving".

Now in their defense, I understand that this car is from their testing division, and is particularly designed to drive the exact same lap over and over so that the BMW engineers can gather data -- its not intended to be any sort of technology for a product. The other amazing fact is that this car is driving blind. BMW is using a form of extremely high precision GPS mapping to keep the car on the track. It has no obstacle detection or avoidance capability at all. This is fine for controlled conditions and closed tracks, and admittedly gets the job done for testing. It would not do to mix this car in with other traffic. Anyway, it makes me laugh, and I get to talk about Top Gear. Did you see the time they put all these rockets on a Mini Cooper.....

I do have other shows that I like that are no longer on. I'm a huge fan of Thunderbirds, and of the japanese anime series Captain Harlock.

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