Drivers? Where We're Going, We Don't Need Drivers...

from the catch-up-on-your-reading dept

Sure, we've been hearing about driverless cars for years, but when most of the focus has been just on cars that can self park, or better adaptive cruise control (the kind that keeps you from hitting other cars), it seemed like real driverless cars were still a long way away. It appears at least one company in China doesn't think so. A Chinese car company is supposedly demonstrating an unmanned car, which they claim can go up to 90mph (the demo topped out at 37mph) and still stay within roadways, stop at street crossings and make turns. Of course, given that even demos of supposedly market-ready adaptive cruise control sometimes lead to crashes, it's likely that demo or no demo, we won't see too many unmanned vehicles on the road any time soon. Besides, I think I'd feel a bit more confident in some of the vehicles that made it through the Grand Challenge last year, completing a 132-mile course without drivers. Either way, though, it seems like there's plenty of research into taking drivers out of the automobile equation. Considering how worked up people get about driver distractions, perhaps that's a good thing.

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  1. identicon
    nunya_bidness, 12 Sep 2006 @ 4:28am

    Nothing New

    Living in New Jersey, and driving to work for twenty years on the Parkway this is nothing new. I have been surrounded by driverless cars for decades. The classic Jaguar convertable, applying makeup, reading newspaper and on the phone, in the left lane going 50 is a common sight around here. It is amazing how these vehicles get to thier destination everyday while only cutting off maybe five or ten other cars along the way. Some of these cars actually prepare breakfast along the way, but they do occasionally lead to a fire about twice a month. Thankfullly they all are equipped with automatic deceleration devices that slow them to a crawl at the first sign of danger or rain. The only side effect of that is by time you get to an incident, it is already gone.

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