Southwest Research Institute at forefront of self-driving technology
SAN ANTONIO - A local research facility is developing technology that will make self-driving cars a common sight on the roads you travel every day.
Self-driving cars already exist and are on the roads in some areas of the country, but they are not very common and you definitely don't see them on the roads in San Antonio.
Kris Cozak is one of researchers at the Southwest Research Institute working on self-driving technology that's been under development for about a decade.
He recently took us for a spin on a closed course to show us how it works.
"We are starting here on our cone course and using our ranger localization system which gives us an inch of precision on a path of repeatability," he said as the car easily manuevered its way through a tight course of orange cones.
Surprisingly, Cosak says most of the technology needed to make a car drive itself is already in the car, including the motor that turns the steering wheel and the units that control the brake and throttle. The only technology that needs to be added is a camera, a laser scanner, GPS and the Ranger Localization System.
"A camera that basically faces at the ground and we use road imagery for the system to provide high provision localization, like fingerprints stored on a map," said Cosak.
It's technology that is already in use by the military and with self-driving technology improving each day, it's just a matter of time before we see it on the open road.