JMU X-Labs working on self driving golf cart
The JMU X-Labs have recently started a new project focusing on self-driving cars, an idea that some students involved in the project believe will be the norm in the future.
The students are currently in the planning stages of the project and plan to design a system that would allow a golf cart to drive on its own.
X-Labs is one of the only programs in the state with an undergrad course of this kind, and the students suggested the idea of creating a self-driving car.
There are many obstacles the students need to figure out before they can start working on the golf cart itself.
"They've got to figure out how are they going to control it? How do you apply gas? How do you apply brakes, and how do you steer it safely?," said Nick Swayne, director of X-Labs, "so that we can put all that together and feel confident that it's not going to drive into the pond or run into a car when we put it out on the street."
They also need to find a way for the golf cart to know its location and figure out how to get from one place to another while avoiding obstacles. One student believes that in the future, everyone will be using driverless cars.
"I see the future is going to be self-driving cars as a way to alleviate a lot of our issues that we have in society today," said Richard Xu, senior engineering student. "It's just that we have to start very slowly by getting people used to this technology."
The end goal of the project is to complete the golf cart and have it drive itself to Alumni Hall, pick up the president and provost of the university and drive them to the X-Labs' building.