Two Indian-origin researchers at the University of the South Pacific has announced the creation of a set of algorithms that can enable robotic cars to communicate with each other, and avoid collisions.
Dr Bibhya Sharma, who supervised the research project, says that the series of mathematical equations would instruct robotic cars when and how to merge lanes, which could lead to less accidents and ease traffic congestion.
Presenting the research work in at the 1st Pacific Rim Mathematical Association (PRIMA) conference in Sydney this week, he said that the research could be used to control our future cars and replace drivers.
According to Sharma, flocking is a biologically inspired technique and a strategy commonly used in robotics. He says that one of its advantages is that robots can work together and achieve what would take individuals far longer.
Talking about how the vehicles will operate automatically, the researcher says that a centralised "brain", guided by a series of algorithms, will control each car.
He says that these brains "talk to each other", and instruct the cars to merge lanes and move in formation together.
He and his colleagues have already shown the technique using computer simulations, and the team are currently trying it in two wheel robots.
Utesh Chand, also of the University of the South Pacific, says that the cars have targets they move towards and maintain.
He says that when the cars find themselves in a merging situation, one of them will be given the position of leader, to be followed by the rest.
"We've written equations for attraction towards the target," ABC Online quoted him as saying.
The researchers insists that their work may make sure that the cars stay inside their lanes, and do not crash into each other.