MoneySuperMarket has launched a new infographic breaking down how autonomous vehicles, that is, cars that drive themselves, are developing and when exactly they’ll be hitting the marketplace. There’s hot competition, with big car companies racing to beat Google to launch, who will be the first?
As it stands, Mercedes will the race to have a car that drives itself available to the public and it’s coming this year too. It’ll be able to operate without driver input at speeds up to 25 miles per hour, making it a great city car – at least that’s the selling point. It comes equipped with a multitude of cameras, 12 separate ultrasonic sensors and radar too.
Other companies aren’t far behind though. Volvo will be releasing its own version of an autonomous vehicle in 2014, capable of working at speeds up to 31 MPH. GM is looking to take the bronze, making its car available in 2015. However it has some newer features, where the car is able to drop off a driver/passenger at a specified locations and then drive off and park itself. You can then tell it where to pick you up using your smartphone.
But what about speed? VW has apparently got a piece of tech in the works which will be able to handle 80 MPH down motorways, but only temporarily, IE don’t doze off.
While Google’s technology is the most publicly known about and tested – having completed over 140,000 miles without incident – it won’t be available until at the earliest, 2016.
Of course there a lot of benefits to a self-driving car, including less congestion, fewer accidents, potentially cheaper car insurance and the fact that you can relax on a long drive; but there are concerns over reliability. Lack of GPS signal or a system that isn’t updated to the latest roads could cause problems.
KitGuru Says: Do you guys like the idea of your car driving itself? I’m more interested by the idea of it handling parking after dropping me off somewhere.
Click the image below to get the full picture.