For quite a long time now, we all have been fascinated with the concept of self-driving cars featured in the futuristic Sci-fi Hollywood movies. Some driving purists were visibly upset at the thought of having to lose the control of their driving wheel. But, today, this concept is slowly becoming a reality. With all major car-makers from Mercedes , BMW, Audi, Volvo, Toyota, Nissan, Ford road-testing their autonomous car technologies, it seems we shall see production versions soon. Oh also add to the list the Google driverless car which maintains a fleet that has driven 300,000 miles without any incident (fig. as of August 2012).
The buzz surrounding these self driven vehicles is back with Mercedes Benz showcasing their S500 Intelligent Drive at the Frankfurt Auto Show on Tuesday. Have a look the photo & the video below :
Looks fascinating, doesn’t it.
Just to give you a brief of what’s in the pipeline in the autonomous car field:
- Mercedes Benz : The 2014 Mercedes Benz S-class will feature the option of automated parking, steering, lane guidance, accelerating/braking, accident avoidance and driver fatigue detection with speeds upto 200 km/hr
- BMW : The 2014 BMW i3 will autonomously steer, brake, accelerate in traffic upto speeds of 50 km/hr
- Volvo : Has already developed technology for automatic-braking, pedestrian detection and self-parking and will launch it’s driverless option at low speeds soon.
- Audi : Already has credentials of self-parking in the Audi A8, has stated at the Frankfurt Auto show (after the Mercedes Benz show off), that the next-gen Audi A8 to be released by 2016 will drive itself
- Nissan : Plans to sell the first generation of it’s self driven concept by 2015 – will feature unoccupied automatic parking after passengers exit
- Google: By 2018, expect to sell their self driven technology
- 2020 : Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Nissan, Volvo, GM plan to sell driverless cars commercially
So keep your eyes open. And don’t pop them out with horror when you see a driverless car on the road.