Dragonfly sight could improve driverless cars
University researchers are taking inspiration from the dragonfly to make dramatic improvements in the way driverless cars predict the flow of traffic. The researchers, from the University of Adelaide in South Australia and Lund University in Sweden, discovered a neuron in the brain of a dragonfly that anticipates movement and predicts the trajectory of their prey. These neurons are called Small Target Motion Detectors (STMD), and they increase the insect’s response in a small area just ahead of the object they are tracking. If the object disappears – if it goes behind something, for example – then the neuron is able to predict where the object should reappear.
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