Apple always loves to be a part of cutting edge innovative technologies. This time Oxford university students told the world that iPad can do a bit more than just making good music for you. Oxford University’s engineering students proved their point by carving out a very innovative idea which allows a car to drive itself with a bit of a help from the Apple’s iPad. They gave a whole new meaning to the word “automatic car” when the Nissan Leaf an electric car drove seamlessly through stretches of private roads.

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This system is still in the testing phase and not yet fully ready for the general public use but the idea seems very lucrative as at least it will give drivers some soothing time with their hands of the steering wheels.

This technology is very low cost and it said to be using none of the traditional GPS technologies despite the fact that it is much of a navigation system itself.  Besides GPS this technology is very much independent as it uses a series of small cameras and lasers built into the car which are directly linked with a very intelligent computer placed in the boot space of the car. The role of iPad here is that it provides easy to use interface which allows the driver to switch to the auto drive. As we see in the cruise control function of the cars that if the brake is touched at any point, the auto drive element is abandoned, and normal driving is resumed.

As stated by the Oxford University’s professor Paul Newman that the this technology is being developed so as to provide some respite to the tired drivers as the life is becoming more and more stressed with the school runs and drive homes which serves as a very obvious reasons for it. As many other he did not fantasize the idea of the cars being driven by themselves but instead, sees this as “low cost, low footprint autonomy” as “what’s needed for everyday use.”

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Some cars are already equipped with the automatic parking assist which mainly uses GPS / Sat Nav and becoming very popular among the people. This technology is surely taking it to a new level and can be perceived as a natural next step in the future of fully automated cars. The prototype system now costs a good £5,000 ($7,500), but Prof. Newman also adds that their eventual goal is to make it available for around £100 ($150).

Via:  Tuaw