A laboratory in the United Kingdom developed in 1971 a system capable of keeping the cars of the time circulating in the same lane without using the steering wheel

The idea of ​​traveling in a self-driving car is not a new topic, since since 1971 it was already thought to make reality what for many is a dream. The Road Research Laboratory, From the United Kingdom, created what for many is the first autonomous car attempt in history.

Back then there were no special cameras or sensors in the cars that will use real-time data to be analyzed and achieve semi-autonomous driving as it is known today. The British research laboratory used a “trick”That would allow the car to be located in the lane without very complex technology; it was about an electric cable embedded in the asphalt.

Ford Cortina.
Credit: Pixabay.

This electric cable generated a magnetic field that was perceived by two coils placed in the front of the car. With the detected magnetic field the car could be easily located to always stay in the center. Depending on the force detected by each coil, the car decided whether or not to turn the steering column slightly to focus again.

Regarding speed, a simple electronic device regulated that a specific frequency of revolutions was maintained in the engine. It adjusted this frequency in real time and at the same time monitored what frequency the motor had to raise or reduce the revolutions. This driving system is known as drive-by-wire and seeks to eliminate mechanical controls in favor of an electrical system.

According to the portal Xataca.com, this coil system was implemented in four car models of the time: a Ford Cortina, a Standard Vanguard, a Citroen DS19 and a Austin Mini. The project sought to achieve a universal system for all vehicles and implement the cabling system on the asphalt nationwide.

Unfortunately in the end the Road Research Laboratory The UK scrapped the idea and canceled the autonomous car project.


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