Driverless Vehicle Tech Likely to Enter Into Consumer Industry

Driverless technology

Ten of the world’s largest consumer vehicle manufacturers combined at the end of last year to announce that automated emergency braking systems would be a standard feature in all new vehicle models produced by the companies.

The move is designed to reduce the number of rear-end collisions, which make up about a third of all accidents.

While each manufacturer’s system would work differently, the fundamental concept is the same: if forward facing sensors detect a slower moving or stopped vehicle ahead, the brakes automatically engage without driver intervention. "We are entering an era of vehicle safety, focused on preventing crashes from ever occurring, rather than just protecting occupants when crashes happen," said Anthony Foxx, US Transportation Secretary in the Los Angeles Times article.

Regardless of where your opinion falls on this specific topic, it’s important to recognise that the automatic emergency braking system is just one of several autonomous vehicle technologies that have or will shortly make it into consumer vehicles. Advances such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, and automatic parallel parking have already made their debut and are becoming increasingly affordable options. In each case, the combination of sensors and intelligent action on the part of the vehicle has its roots in robotics. The benefits to safety and convenience will continue to push the industry toward robotic vehicles.

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