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Students create smartphone-powered driverless car

A group of Australian students has developed an autonomous car driven by a smartphone. But don't expect to see it on the road just yet.

Video screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia

The driverless car is already on the road, and there's a lot to look forward to, especially as the technology is refined and improved.

A team of information and communications technology students from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, may have found one way already -- using smartphone technology.

Their prototype car, about the size of a toy pedal car, has a smartphone mounted on the front and uses several of the phone's features for autonomous driving. The phone's camera identifies the lanes, while the phone's GPS is used for navigation.

The team, whose members include Tommi Sullivan, Michael Lennon, and Yukito Tsunoda, won a Queensland iAward for their creation. The award honors cutting-edge technology innovations.

"A normal unmanned vehicle would usually use a camera or a different sensor or a Ladar on the top, but the uniqueness in this car is that most of the sensors are used from the mobile phone," Sullivan said.

Added Tsunoda, "Our ultimate goal is to implement our program and drive the car in the public environment, and we hope to one day see people using their smartphone to drive their cars in a real-life situation."

(Source: CNET Australia)