The Lindens made this announcement today: Take a Sneak Peek at the Pathfinding Experiments Being Conducted in Second Life. Lorca Linden has a video out, shown here.
WATCH Video: http://vimeo.com/36483387
They start the announcement off with a colorful description of the feature:
An ethereal wisp glides through a fantasy forest and then vanishes, only to reappear at your side a few seconds later. Dozens of beetles and rats creep across the floor of a decaying, decrepit building, scurrying away whenever you get near. A hideous, scaly beast chases you up hills and across regions, dodging anything that gets between it and dinner.
These experiences are possible because Linden Lab is about to unveil a new, robust pathfinding system that will allow objects to intelligently navigate around the world while avoiding obstacles.
The video shows some awesome behavior for pathfinding objects.
The video also shows the current beta set of viewer tools for testing and debugging pathfinding controls.
Also in today’s Beta Server meeting Lorca Linden made an in person announcement to the group and answered questions. I’ll have more on that in the Server-Scripting news Update later today. Questions and answers were coming so quick it is going to take some editing to get it into a coherent form.