One of the fasting movements in the technology world right now is the futuristic concept of autonomous driving. Just within the last year various players of the automakers world have turned their attention to designing self-driving vehicles and what possibilities are viable for the future.
2014 wasn’t the first year to bring autonomous driving into the public eye though. In 2013 Audi showcased their A7 parking itself in a car park and then returning to its owner. This was highly praised, but still needed many fixes and improvements before any implementation into future cars and systems worldwide.
Tesla announced this year that they would be releasing a fully autonomous car within 3 years. CEO and the public mastermind behind Tesla’s recent successful campaigns have made strong headway in his quest for driverless driving this year alone. The model D released in October had most of the auto world convinced the revolution was merely a short period of time away. With an array of driverless functions it seemed that the vision was becoming closer and closer.
Such features like being able to override the driver in the case of an imminent accident and apply the brakes were first-time features unseen or unheard by the majority of us. The car would come fitted with a number of cameras and sensors that effectively worked ahead of other road users and drivers to ensure that there was no danger to the driver, even locking the steering wheel from turning in a direction if there was the possibility of an accident being caused by doing so.
BMW has just announced their newest piece of tech too. The i3 has been linked up with a smartwatch app that allows the user when in places such as multi-story car parks, to simply jump out and send the car off to park itself without any further assistance.
It is worth mentioning though that digital blueprints must be obtained in order for the i3 to successfully navigate throughout the car park though. But once away, the i3 is able to successfully manoeuvre around pedestrians, obstructions and other vehicles, before parking and locking itself. It then lays dormant until once again summoned by the owner.
October this year saw Mercedes Benz also join in on the game with their highly ambitious Future Truck 2025. With emphasis placed on making the driver’s time while driving more productive and stress free, the idea has most definitely had an effect on their productions since.
The Future Truck allowed users to turn 90 degrees in the driver’s seat and relax in the spacious cab while the on-board mechanics did the science. Once the user had merged onto the highway and reached a certain speed, the Future Truck takes over. It was also Mercedes-Benz first use of the LED lights on the front of the vehicle that made it look like something from a sci-fi film.