May 20, 2013 AT 12:00 am

Student’s self-driving car tech wins Intel science fair

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Student’s self-driving car tech wins Intel science fair @ NBC News.com.

When self-driving cars reach the masses, thanks may be due to a 19-year-old high-school student from Romania who developed an artificial intelligence that slashes the cost of the technology. He took top prize — a $75,000 scholarship — Friday at an international science and engineering fair.

Budisteanu ran 50 simulations with his system and in 47 of them it performed flawlessly. In three, however, it failed to recognize some people who were 65 to 100 feet (20 to 30 meters) away. He said slightly higher-resolution 3-D radar should do the trick and still keep costs at a fraction of Google’s.

The high-resolution 3-D radar used by Google, he noted, costs about $75,000. His whole system should work for no more $4,000.

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