Futuristic self driving cars could become a reality very soon. Various companies are working on self driving vehicle intelligence systems that could potentially change motoring. Self driving car technology has witnessed lots of activity over the recent few years. Self driving cars can now drive legally on the roads, thanks to pioneering firms such as Google, Continental amongst others. But can self driving cars reduce deaths on the roads? Continental, an automotive car supplier, has clocked nearly 10,000 miles of autonomous driving in its prototype self driving vehicle. Separately, AT&T is working on a smart steering wheel that will help prevent accidents.
Continental's prototype vehicle could hit the roads by end of April as the first legal self driving automobiles in Nevada. Continental modified a Volkswagen Passat into an autonomous self driving car by removing brakes and steering controls. These were replaced with sensors and advanced technology systems for reading surroundings and driving autonomously. In a test run, the vehicle clocked more than 90 per cent of travel on autonomous self driving mode. Most of the technology employed in the modified Passat is already available, with companies such as Google and BMW already working in the area as well.
Google started the whole “self-driving car rage” by modifying a Toyota Prius by attaching expensive intelligent systems for self driving. The race for driverless cars is driven by the need for more fuel efficient vehicles that can reduce accidents and congestion. If these developments are anything to go by, the future of the auto industry may be “self driving” cars. But the concept is rather controversial. The question remains; will the public accept self driving cars? What regulations will be put in place to manage this “versatile robots” on the roads? Separately, the University of Texas at Austin researchers are working on an autonomous intersection management system that will allow computers to control intersections for self-driving cars.