MIT and the National Research Foundation in Singapore have formed a centre dedicated for research and technology known as SMART. It is basically MIT’s research centre outside of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The centre is known for creating a self driving golf carts and currently under testing at a large public garden in Singapore for over a period of six days. On top of that a Smartphone app is also developed to let customers to be able to book the ride at one of the 10 stations.
SMART aims to keep the golf cart technology as simple as possible. The technology is using off-the shelves laser rangefinders as the sensors which mounted at different height and a dynamic virtual bumper surrounding the golf cart’s planned path. Therefore if an object enters the area of the virtual bumper, the cart will do whatever it takes to keep it out of the range.
The six days of testing resulted in a few accidents. One of them is there was a large lizard crossing the carts’ path and the carts seems like it did not know how to handle the situation. Another downside is that these golf carts speed is 15mph on average.
These self driving golf carts are seen as one step before the self driving cars. SMART is planning to use the technology for it for car sharing, which is almost similar to the usage of the self driving cars in the future.