When it comes to automotive technology, the future is now. Self-Driving cars are no longer just a concept, many companies are implementing many self-driving features into their vehicles today. When a complete and fully functional self-driving car hits the market, it will not so much be released with a bang, but rather introduced as the next installment of features we are already seeing today. There are a handful of vehicles right now available with technology such as adaptive cruise control that will adjust to surrounding traffic speed, collision prevention systems that can bring a vehicle to a stop to avoid an accident, and active lane keeping that will actually steer the car without the help or a driver on straight lines and highway curves, to name a few.
In 1940 consumers considered GM’s Oldsmobile Hydro-Matic Transmission a step towards having driver-less cars. Even a vehicle that shifts itself was game changing and futuristic as well, and look how far we’ve come since then. Technology of today combines exterior mounted cameras and radar to map out surrounding obstacles, vehicles, and road lines to either steer or stop without any human interaction. The most advanced features available on current models allow a driver to put their vehicle in cruise control on a highway setting, then take their hands of the wheel. The vehicle can drive itself for up to miles at a time, granted you still have to manually get it on and off the highway.
Ford has recently accomplished incorporating new technology into one of their vehicles that allows a car to park itself without driver assistance. This is not the Active Park Assist feature found on some models of the Ford line-up today. Dubbed “Fully Assisted Parking Aid,” this feature allows the driver to press a button on the dash of the vehicle, step out, and watch the car park itself. One of Ford‘s missions is to help alleviate the increasing problem of tight parking spaces. Over the last 20 years, car width has increased an average of 16%, while parking spaces have remained the same size. The video below explains the feature and all its wonder in detail.
In the public eye, drivers are still wary of self-driving features, with 9 out of 10 saying there should still be a driver behind the wheel; a third said they would purchase a self-driving vehicle. As technology progresses we believe that consumers will become more comfortable with the idea as the reliability and safety improves. Who will pass up the chance to leave work early on a Friday because you’re able to work for an extra hour in your backseat while your car drives you home?