Israeli Army Uses Autonomous Cars to Patrol Borders

While it may take a few years for autonomous vehicles to change the way we travel, unmanned machines are already successful in some areas. Autonomous vehicles programmed to detect intruders, for example, guard some of Israel’s borders.

Since the start of the program in 2008, about eight to 10 autonomous cars have been patrolling Israeli borders. The cars are produced by a company called G-NIUS, while the computer system that operates them has been developed by the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Funded by Israel’s Ministry of Defense, the program actually saves soldiers' lives by removing them from dangerous areas.

According to Hugo Guterman, a researcher for the university, the computer system used by the cars is designed to act like two people – one drives and the other looks around. The lowest level controls the car, turning the steering wheel, braking or accelerating. The medium level uses GPS to navigate the terrain and gathers information from the car’s cameras and sensors. The highest level receives this data and then decides whether to stop and check something suspicious.

We don't know exactly what happens next, as Guterman didn't comment on whether the cars are fitted with weapons. Leaving this aside, it's worth noting that these cars are usually fully autonomous, running on their own after being programmed to patrol in a certain area. They only require help from remote operators when they run into unforeseen obstacles.

Most of the time, the autonomous vehicles patrol areas where nobody lives, and are not licensed to drive on roads with heavy traffic. Basically, these cars work similarly to Google’s driverless cars, except they don’t require a passenger to sit in at all times. Check out the video below to see them in action.

By Dan Mihalascu

Story References: Technewsdaily
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