We are gradually approaching the self-driving car. Progress is being made incrementally, by introducing certain features that will pave the way for more autonomy and less driver input.
Some of these features are:
– collision mitigation : if the vehicle detects a crash is likely, it will take action (tighten seat belts, close windows, etc.) The newer versions will even apply brakes. The future version would need to steer also.
– virtual bumper : while backing up, the vehicle will warn the driver of close objects. Newer versions will apply the brakes, preventing damage.
– Lane keep / blind spot assist : if the vehicle detects an object (usually another vehicle) in the blind spot, it will warn the driver. Fancier versions will counteract the steering wheel so that the driver can’t move into the occupied lane.
– Adaptive Cruise Control : the vehicle maintains a set distance between itself and the vehicle in front of it. Fancier versions prevent driver acceleration into the forward vehicle by overriding the gas pedal input.
As these feature mature and become more integrated with each other, and as vehicle-to-vehicle communications become established so that vehicles can react based on what the other vehicles are trying to do, the role of the driver will be reduced and maybe eventually eliminted.
There is the one major concern with all this – if cars are preventing collisions by themselves, overriding the driver, how will we have demolition derbies?
I sense the future of the demolition derby is shaky at best.
I mean, really, how are you going to be entertained by a field of driverless cars?
When he raises himself up, the mighty fear; Because of the crashing they are bewildered.