Low-cost autonomous car technology aims to reduce deaths, pollution

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A 19-year-old won top honors and $75,000 dollars at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix last week with a project that takes a new low-cost approach to autonomous driving. The hope, says Gordon E. Moore Award winner Ionut Budisteanu, is that self-driving cars reduce both road fatalities and automobile pollution.

Self-driving cars are nothing new to the tech world, but they take some capital to operate. Budisteanu says cars like the ones in Google’s fleet rely on expensive, high-resolution radar. In this video, Budisteanu explains how his approach lowers the cost of that 3D radar to about $400 instead of the $75,000 it takes to operate a self-driving car.

About 1600 high school students chosen from 70 different countries participated in this year’s Intel Science and Engineering Fair in categories including biochemistry, energy and transportation, medicine and health and more.

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