The Self-Driving Car… It’s Almost Here
The past couple of years has seen a rise in the idea of the self-driving car. Google came out in the lead with a modified Toyota Prius, which was given the first self-driven license back in May 2012. This came nearly a year after the state of Nevada passed a law permitting driverless cars in Nevada. Then Lexus and Audi hopped on board with rumors circulating that they would be demonstrating autonomous vehicles of their own at CES this year. So there were shows put on to display these new wonders of technology, right? Wrong.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to see a new Lexus or Audi drive itself around at CES. Lexus instead opted to focus on safety features. Given Toyota’s recent safety issues, that’s not necessarily a bad idea. The new active safety features rely on radar, camera, and infrared sensors. But still… no driverless car.
Audi showed less, but gave us a lot more. In their presentation they actually addressed the idea of self-driving cars, or as Audi calls it, Piloted Driving. Audi executive Ricky Hudi then pulled out a prototype laser sensor array. This array fit in his hand, as opposed to the arrays found on the top of Google’s automated cars that need an entire mounting bracket. He also explained that Audi obtained a Nevada license for an automated vehicle for testing purposes. Audi also predicts that we could see self-driving cars become a legitimate and common reality by the end of the decade.
So, no self-driving cars made their way to 2013 CES, but at least we know we have the technology to get it done. Other manufacturers that have expressed intentions to build self-driving vehicles, or have created technology to further advance the idea, include Mercedes-Benz, the Ford Motor Company, and Cadillac. The future is almost here, my friends.