A company based in Amherst, New York has developed an award-winning autonomous technology that can navigate and steer a boat. Buffalo Automation’s autonomous driving system uses Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology, GPS and cameras, which communicate with onboard computers programmed by the Buffalo Automation team.
It’s a small team. We’re not Uber. We’re not Waymo or GM. We’re just a small start-up.Chris Edwards, Buffalo Automation’s Lead Autonomous Systems Engineer
This small team beat out NASA in the AUVSI XCELLENCE 2019 Awards. Buffalo Automation was first and NASA second in the Technology Innovation, Detect & Avoid Solutions category. These awards honour innovators with a demonstrated commitment to advancing technology, leading and promoting safe operations of unmanned systems.
Buffalo Automation’s system measures tens of thousands of points every second, but to test and improve its accuracy they took the technology to the water.
One of the reasons we come to the Erie Canal and the reasons we do this is that it’s narrow enough that we can see exactly what the inaccuracies are and what the problems are. Like, if I was in the middle of Lake Erie, you might think, oh, well everything’s fine, I’m on course. But you can be 50 meters off and it all looks fine.Chris Edwards