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Junior, the Robotic Car, Learns to Slide Park

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Stanford Racing Team's Junior autonomous car

Junior, the Stanford Racing Team's autonomous car, can successfully complete a 180-degree "slide" park.


The autonomous car that the Stanford Racing Team developed for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Urban Challenge in 2007 is now capable of parking itself. In video presented at the recent 2010 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, "Junior" goes into reverse, accelerates up to 25 miles per hour, suddenly brakes while turning the wheel sharply, spinning 180 degrees and sliding into a parking space. Junior can reliably and repeatedly perform the parking maneuver.

After taking second place at the 2007 event, the Stanford Racing Team has focused on moving beyond straight line driving to handling more complex maneuvers.

The parking maneuver combines the closed-loop system of control, which uses data from sensors built into the car, with open-loop control for the spin and slide into position. The car's software decides when to switch between the two modes of operation, based on observation.

View a video that explains and demonstrates autonomous sliding parking, and a separate video that shows Junior attempting and completing the powerslide parking maneuver.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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