The car market has always been known for being relatively conservative in regards to predictions. With that in mind, they are usually pretty tight lipped about autonomous cars. Yes, they admit they are coming, but they won’t really say when. That changed during CES 2015, when Ford’s CEO Mark Fields said they will be here in five years. Many analysts believe that if someone from the industry is saying they will be here in five years, they will be here even sooner than that. That means these modified cars should be available soon.
Which Companies Are Leading the Charge?
There is a lot of speculation around who will be the first to introduce autonomous cars. Tech giant Google has created several autonomous cars for testing. These cars go 25 mph and can run for about 80 miles. Obviously, these modified cars won’t drive people across the country but they are a solid starting point.
Tesla also wants to be a major player in autonomous cars. In fact, the company is actively working on developing technology to protect self-driving software from attacks. This is incredibly important, since these modified cars will open the door for cyber terrorists.
While Google and Tesla plan to develop autonomous cars and related technology, many insiders actually expect the major automakers to lead the way. Ford, Toyota, and others are currently testing autonomous vehicles.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, says that autonomous vehicles will likely be ready long before the regulations are in place. This has lawmakers scrambling to determine how to handle these new vehicles.
While the lawmakers scramble, automakers have come up with a game plan that seems to be working. They are easing into it.
Easing into It
While the technology and the legislation is not ready for fully autonomous cars to hit the market quite yet, the market is ready for various autonomous features. Some vehicles use sensors to slow down and brake when needed. You can even get a car with Active Lane Assist so you will be forced back into your lane if you start to drift off. Night View Assist is another new feature. It actually uses infrared cameras to detect people, animals, and objects.
It is no secret that autonomous vehicles are coming. The only question has been when. Now, it looks like that question is getting answered, and it is much sooner than many people expected.
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Last Updated: March 31, 2015