Car manufactures are spending billions of dollars every year trying to create and release the next big thing in the automotive world. Technology is often developed a long time before it is ever released in a road car. For instance, Anti Lock Braking (A.B.S) was first developed in 1929 but wasn’t fitted into a production car until the early 1970`s. Lets take a look at one technology that is getting rolled out sooner than you think.
There is a big focus right now on “driver-less driving” or Autonomous Drive as Volvo call it. The Swedish manufacturer is in the final stages of a project to release 100 Driver-less cars onto roads in Gothenburg, Sweden. These vehicles will have to combat a wide range of conditions and hazards including traffic jams, pedestrians and ever changing weather conditions.
Volvo has partnered up with the Swedish Transport Administration (STA) and a range of Government departments, Around 1.2 Million are killed on our roads each and every year, this is the drive behind this joint project is a model of ” Zero Traffic Fatalities” Although this is an ambitious goal, eliminating collisions between cars is the first step to achieving this.
As well as being able to drive themselves, These cars will also be able to identify, locate and engage a fully automated parking system. This will use sensors in the road to inform a car of a vacant car spot and allocate it to your car.
Other companies currently trialing “Self drive cars include Toyota, Mercedes – Benz and an interesting field test done by google has seen a Prius travel over 160,000km. There is also a group of Universities including 2 in Australia that are testing robotic or remote controlled transport solutions.
Although it will be many years before the skill of driving will be lost forever, This is a small taste of what the future holds for the automotive industry world wide.