Technology is always about bigger, better and more. You were impressed when manufacturers installed a digital infotainment system in your car that could be operated with your smartphone. You went into a tizzy when they came out with heated seats and steering wheels, and you couldn’t have been more excited when they came out with cameras that act as a second pair of eyes for blind spots. To think about all the things that have been introduced and improved upon in your car is mind-boggling. But, after all that, are you ready for driverless car technology?
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the technology, but laws are continuing to be passed in favor of driverless cars. They ensure no speedy lane changes, falling asleep behind the wheel or drinking and driving. The auto industry is buzzing with talk of driverless tech from dealerships like DriveTime’s social media pages to giant corporations like Google’s actual test drives. So, if you’re ready to hear about all the new features and stand in line on its release day, here are some manufacturers that are working on self-driving cars.
Google wants to be the best in technological breakthroughs, and self-driving car technology is no exception. Its self-driving SUV has a tower on the roof that maps the surrounding area, and it is able to sense if there are crossing guards or stop signs ahead and react accordingly. The car has driven over 300,000 miles and has not had any accidents, reports The Next Web. Google has solid plans to unveil its self-driving car by 2018.
Cadillac also is working on self-driving technology. GM will soon be introducing semi-driverless technology into its regular cars by adding features such as hands and foot-free driving with speed and brake control. So, for example, if you are in a traffic jam, you can switch to the super cruise setting and let the car handle the congestion. Or, you can type in the address to where you want to go and the car will drive you there. GM announced that the car’s public induction will be in 2017, but it has not disclosed which model the technology will be in.
Nissan’s self-driving car is named Safety Shield. It will have six classified risk factors that range from “risk has not yet appeared” to “post-crash.” The concept behind this technology is to identify dangerous situations before they occur, thereby cutting the amount of accidents on the road. Nissan has scheduled its driverless car to be released in 2020.
There are many other companies working on driverless technology. Honda says it could have a driverless car out by 2020, and Ford plans to release a self-driving car but won’t say when. Additionally, Audi A8 is working to release one in 2017, Daimler has plans for 2025 and Jaguar and Land Rover are shooting for 2024. However, Toyota has decided to focus on the communication between a driver and his or her car rather than driverless technology.
In spite of the successful strides that driverless technology has made and the enthusiasm of car manufacturers to make it happen, there are some very real obstacles to overcome. To manufacture a car with this kind of complexity is difficult, which means there is a high-cost. And, because manufacturers have been working on electric and hybrid cars to help curb pollution, it may be difficult to decide which piece of technology will receive more time and money.
The bottom line is that driverless cars seem to be a reality no matter how many arguments are stacked against them. Eventually, driverless cars will be a normalcy on the road and here to stay.