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Who Invented The First Self Driving Car?

by Carmen PickelSeptember 10, 2021
Who Invented The First Self Driving Car?

Have you ever wondered who invented the first self-driving car?

Well, it wasn’t a big tech company. It was a German researcher named Ernst Dickmanns in 1986. He overcame many obstacles before his invention became a reality and is now considered one of the most important pioneers in autonomous driving history.

The man who invented the self-driving car is not as well known as some of his contemporaries, but he’s just as important. Ernst Dickmanns was a German researcher and professor at Bundeswehr University Munich. The university claimed to be the birthplace of self-driving vehicles. He developed an autonomous Mercedes van that drove itself on public highways in Germany back in 1986.

That’s 30 years ago! Way before Google or Tesla got behind the wheel. It was one of the first times anyone had ever done this kind of thing with a vehicle. It took him another ten years to get it working correctly, but by 1995 he had successfully navigated Paris traffic autonomously for 20 kilometers (12 miles). 

It was one of many firsts for this visionary engineer and his team at Germany's Bundeswehr University Munich. In 1995 they drove an unmanned vehicle through Paris' crowded streets during rush hour, with no accidents or injuries to people or property. 

And in 2003, their autonomous bus carried passengers on a public road in southern France without incident. But it wasn't until 2008 that Dickmanns' vision became a reality when he successfully piloted an S-Class sedan along 60 kilometers of highway between Denkendorf and Stuttgart using only cameras as sensors.

His vehicle used no LIDAR, GPS, radar, or other equipment necessary! His goal was to show how safe such vehicles could be if well-designed software algorithms gave adequate information about their surroundings. He succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams in his multiple experiments.

Now you can drive down roads all over America with complete confidence thanks to the autopilot feature, which uses advanced technology like 360° ultrasonic sonar and forward-facing cameras to keep you out of harm’s way while driving on any road anywhere in America today. To learn more about what the future hold for autonomous vehicles, read this article. 

To know more about vehicles and their future, visit us at www.lakevillemotor.com.

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