Remote-controlled, driverless carts are a common sight at private golf clubs in South Korea, like Sky72 or Whistling Rock. These 5-person driverless carts, driven by caddies at the push of a button, run on a track along cart paths, helping keep the courses in perfect shape. Golfers have the choice of walking as little, or as much as they wish.
Two years ago, members of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) tested an autonomous golf cart with great success.
These self-driving golf carts use laser sensors to navigate their surroundings and identify obstacles using what researchers call the “dynamic virtual bumper,” which can be thought of as a cylinder surrounding the vehicle’s planned trajectory.
Autonomous golf caddies that can trail a golfer around the golf course, some with or without use of a remote control, have been around for more than a decade. However, they haven’t become mainstream due to design limitations and exorbitant (battery) cost.
Over time, these technologies have continued to improve and the cost of battery power has reduced significantly. It is only a matter of time before autonomous golf carts and caddies become mainstream in our country.
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