Customerless Car Companies 2

Further to the article about driverless cars, I’d like to draw your attention to Bosch’s path towards driverless cars.

1958 driverless car

According to Automotive News the four main steps are as follows:

• Integrated highway assist: In 2017, the vehicle would travel up to 75 mph on the highway, remaining within its lane, while the motorist keeps his eyes on the road.

• Highway assist: In 2018, the vehicle would move at high speeds on the highway, and would change lanes with the driver’s approval. The motorist would keep his eyes on the road.

• Highway pilot: By 2020, the vehicle would maneuver itself on the highway while the motorist attends to other tasks, such as reading, chatting with passengers, working on his computer, etc. The motorist would be prepared to take over quickly, if necessary. If the motorist is unable to do so, the car would pull over and stop itself.

• Auto pilot: Around 2025, the vehicle would drive itself from door to door without the motorist’s intervention.

That’s a decade. I presume all these cars will for the time being have all the hardware needed for the driver to take over. And I can’t see that hardware disappearing. There are engineering problems to be solved with having movable controls – or will they ever really be able to pack them away?

I contend that as long as their is the need for human intervention there will need to be fully usable and instantly usable controls in position. So, it seems unlikely that the interiors will ever become fully lounge-like so long as the car is mobile.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

2 thoughts on “Customerless Car Companies 2”

  1. I’m interested in the bit that states “The motorist would be prepared to take over quickly, if necessary.” Are we to sit, hands hovering over wheel, waiting for the car to say “Sean, I’m getting a bit confused here. You’re a human, you’ve probably got a better idea of what that tosser in front is doing than me. It’s time for you to drive now”. This sounds awful – both more stress-inducing yet more sleep-inducing than actually driving. I’d be happy to use a totally driverless car on the motorway but the long change-over period sounds dreadful.

    In fact, the technology and the software to drive a line of controlled cars along a one direction carriageway is easily achieved today. The problems come when automated cars mix with non-automated ones and when the car gets off onto multi-directional carriageways. Although Moore’s Law would suggest that in 10 year’s an awful lot will be achieved, and a computer will have learnt to spot a dithering pedestrian at a kilometre’s distance, these predictions still sound like puff unless radical changes are made both in terms of driver’s legal responsibilities and in implementing a radical procedure for phasing out non-automated cars over a relatively short period.

  2. Whenever I read of new technology like this, I think of Volvo’s first little public test of the S60’s crash avoidance technology:

    Would I want to drive one of those first automated cars? No thanks.

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