As we all know, Google has been working on driverless cars for years—and using them.
Now automakers like Toyota and Audi are getting serious about driverless technology as well.
Not much is known about what Toyota and Audi are up to, but Toyota leaked a short video showing a Lexus LS sedan with radar and camera equipment mounted on the vehicle.
Toyota’s driverless Lexus LS, has a spinning radar on top of the car and camera equipment mounted on the front. Beyond that, Toyata’s driverless Lexus LS is equipped with an Intelligent Transport System. This system allows the car to communicate with other vehicles on the road as well as with the highway “grid,” although such a grid is not yet in place and most other cars will be equipped to communicate back.
Audi is more secretive about what it has, but the company will be bringing a car that can park itself without help from a driver—which would be great in a place like New York City.
The first step that consumers will see on our road to driverless cars will be features like Audi’s self-parking. These include the already present like the “adaptive cruise control,” which can match a car’s speed to that of the traffic around it.
The eventual goal, however is a fully automatic vehicle that operates in a “driverless” mode. However, a human (one of those old things) will have to be present in the driver’s seat should anything go wrong with the vehicles driverless (or should we say semi-driverless mode.
Cars will still need people.