Self-Driving Cars are expected to storm the future with their technology and usage. The willingness to give up control when humans perform some other tasks is nothing short of a dream. But driverless technologies are coming in within different cars. Some models can detect obstacles and avoid them while some can stay in lane in steady traffic. The discrete systems can be combined into one complete auto-pilot car. Experts estimate highly automated vehicles can be on various roads by 2020.
The top five companies who are investing in self-driving cars is similar to the list set by Juniper Research, a digital market research firm.
Google is the prime company testing driverless cars and has some great research to its credit. The cars collect data when travelling which is in turn shared with other cars in the fleet. It is expected by analysts that as an early mover in the technology and with the most investment, Google will be the first company to a self-driving car that is autonomous. The company has managed to develop the required software with an algorithmic approach for the cars to run smoother and faster than humans.
Apple is certainly planning an autonomous car design although it is completely hush-hush. No one has any idea about any such trials or tests that have been taken for assessing driverless cars on public roads. However according to California Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple had talks about the tests of driverless vehicles and self-driving cars on public roads. The WSJ also reported about Apple’s plans to launch its first ever electric car in 2019 which was not earlier reported to be driverless in any way.
Reports from Guardian indicate that the company is scouting San Francisco Bay Area for test locations for building a self-driving electric car codenamed Project Titan. Various automotive experts are being hired as well as power experts are consulted for the same, according to the report.
Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz has been testing its self-driving cars on public roads in California since late 2014. In August 2013, it was reported that the Mercedes-Benz S 500 Intelligent Drive drove 100 kilometers by itself between Mannheim and Pforzheim. The recent advancement was showcased when Luxury in Motion driverless car was revealed in January this year at the CES.
Tesla is pushing driverless cars to market first and as part of its progress, it was out with a terrific semi-autonomous Autopilot system which will render all Tesla cars driverless capabilities with functions such as autosteer, auto lane change, and self-parking too.
The head honchos believe that the company will be ready with their driverless cars within three years, much ahead than industry estimates. The company is looking for software engineers for the same.
Audi was only the second company to be granted a license after Google to test autonomous cars in Nevada. Last year at CES, it launched a vehicle that can drive without the need for human intervention at up to 40 miles per hour. Recently, Audi’s driverless car drove at a tremendous speed of 140 miles an hour on a fast-speed German racetrack.
The company is working on a self-parking system to allow drivers to exit a vehicle and let the car park on its own. By January 2015, Audi has used its exclusive piloted driving system in an A7 that managed 560 miles on a highway all by itself from Palo Alto to Las Vegas. Audi is working on its traffic-jam technology too.
Other Automakers Bringing it On…
Along with the above cars, other automakers are also making some progress in the self-driving cars. Volvo is fast bringing its plans to fruition in the form of autonomous technology while Delphi has been testing four self-driving Audi SUVs and even revealed two of its automated cars at CES. China’s Baidu is also following Google with its own self-driving cars.