A team at UNC Charlotte has been working on an autonomous vehicle to drag a cart that has sensing equipment. Starting with a stock Honda ATV, different systems were added to give a Renesas processor control of the ATV. A model airplane receiver was attached to the Renesas to give remote control for Phase 1 of the project. Basically they’ve turned the ATV into a giant remote controlled car.
Later revisions will incorporate LIDAR, cameras, and multiple GPS units so the ATV can autonomously traverse most terrain with a high level of accuracy. Path planning will become a large part of the project at that point.