China holds sixth driverless car competition

Driverless cars have been on the cards for decades, but now more and more driver-free creations are taking to roads around the world. The latest batch of autonomous autos to be put through their paces, were tested on roads in Changsu, in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, in a two-day competition last weekend.

This driverless car event saw teams from 14 universities compete with around 20 specially developed self-driving vehicles. The competition, named Future Challenge 2014, was split into two halves – with the vehicles tackling highways and suburban roads along with an urban stage.

Competitors had to program their cars to negotiate a 15km course around a local lake, which featured a 90 degree turn and a cone slalom. The driverless cars were assessed on four areas – safety, intelligence, smoothness and speed.

These cars may not look as high-tech as many of the self-driving machines coming from major car and technology companies – with numerous cameras and sensors attached straight on to the cars’ bodywork – but the video footage shows that they’ve still got the nous to negotiate the streets of Changsu.

We wonder whether they’d cope as well if the roads were full of the traffic that characterises most large Chinese cities…

Picture: YouTube / ODN

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Chris has previously produced grown-up motoring content for Which? Car and not-so-grown-up articles for Car Throttle. He has also written for New Car Net and Auto Express. ...more

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