An autonomous car may seem like a thing of the distant future, but mechanical engineer Chris Gerdes is racing to make it a reality today.
Imagine a car that can drive itself -- that with the push of a button can get you home safely when you’re too tired to drive or have had a night of one too many drinks. Dr. Chris Gerdes , the Director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (conveniently acronymed CARS), and his team are developing a robotic race car, capable of driving at outrageous speeds while avoiding every possible accident. Gerdes’ research focuses on the development of driver assistance systems for collision avoidance, as well as on new combustion processes for engines.
Prior to teaching at Stanford, Gerdes was the project leader for vehicle dynamics at the Vehicle Systems Technology Center of Daimler-Benz Research and Technology North America. His work at Daimler focused on safety analysis.
“It seems that these phenomenal feats that race car drivers are performing are instinctive. They [require] very little mental workload.”
“Do we want something more from our car? … To perhaps be a partner, a coach, someone that can use their understanding of the situation to help us reach our potential.”
“[The autonomous car] has been one of those dreams that's always seemed about 20 years in the future.”
“Life is way too short for boring cars.”