Friday, April 19, 2013

Self-Driving Cars Not Available Yet, But Some of the Technology is

Who's ready for the day when we can hop into our car, tell it where to go, and then sit back and enjoy the ride as the car drives itself? When we'll no longer have to worry about traffic and road rage because self-driving cars will communicate with others on the road to make our trip as efficient as possible? We might not even need to honk anymore! How soon is that happening, exactly? Well, not quite as close as we were initially thinking, the experts from the Society of Automotive Engineers say. Many had hoped we'd see the self-driving car available in around 5 years, at least according to predictions by Google. However, a realistic time frame is looking to be more in the 10-15 year range, or around 2025, to ensure the technology is perfected (and to minimize accidents).

Toyota Prius V, Park Assist, Self Driving Car, Google


On the plus side, elements of self-driving technology are already making their way into cars to give us all a taste of what's to come. Lots of newer vehicles, such as the Toyota Avalon, are being equipped with sensors and cameras that can detect when you're at risk of colliding into an object, as well as radar-based cruise control that automatically adjust speed based on the distance between your car and others. Adaptable headlights are also quite useful- they can detect when other cars are coming up to a certain distance away, and automatically switch between regular and hi-beam lights, giving you more visibility while not blinding others nearby.

Most interesting of all is park assist, available on the advanced technology package of the Prius V. This technology uses a combination of everything: computer processors, backup cameras, and sensors, to help navigate a vehicle into a parking spot. It's pretty amazing to watch as the steering wheel turns and the vehicle calculates exactly how to reverse itself! To use it, you pull forward as if you were getting ready to parallel park, and then use the backup camera and arrows on the touch screen to choose where the car is parking. Once you align the shape on the screen correctly, it becomes blue, signaling that the car is clear to park into the space. Then, the car will start backing itself up into the space as you control the brakes.

Check out the video below-





Do you know of any other self-driving features that are available, or that you'd like to see available soon? 

4 comments:

  1. There are different opinions on, which is better purchasing imported or local cars? IMO, the good thing about import cars is that you have different choices. Aside from that, you have the assurance that you can get high quality cars in affordable prices.

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  2. That radar based cruise control sounds like a great idea, so does the automatic parking but I'm not sure whether I'd be able to let the car do everything itself!

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  3. I think that's how most of us feel right now! I'd certainly feel uneasy letting a machine automate my trip.

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