Is automated driving really the way of the future? Too right it is – in fact it’s already making a name for itself courtesy of BMW and Continental.
Since the start of 2013, BMW and Continental have upped the ante in a big way to focus more efforts on new-generation driver assistance systems than ever before. This January saw the beginning of a new project that would eventually see commercial vehicles fitted with the kind of virtual co-pilot technology that essentially bridges the gap between manual and fully-automated driving.
As it stands, the collaboration is scheduled to bear fruit on a global level by 2020 – the year that could see automated driving and incredible news driver assists become standard.
Contrary to popular belief however, automated driving is not in fact a vision that’s geared toward convenience or ever-growing laziness. Far from it in fact, the efforts of those involved are being invested in the name of a future where vehicle automation could potentially lead to a 100% accident-free society where the overwhelming majority of RTAs can be ruled out by computer intervention. And while it all sounds like a distant dream and something that’s unlikely to come about during our lifetime at least, it’s worth remembering that huge steps have already been made.
BMW for example has already clocked up thousands of miles testing vehicles with the most advanced lane positioning and general hazard detection systems created to date. These are the kind of driver-aids that without taking full control away from the vehicle’s pilot are nonetheless able to evaluate the surrounding area and implement a variety of safeguards in order to prevent accidents. Between now and the end of 2014, BMW is to manufacture and deliver a series of prototype vehicles which will one by one take these and other driver aids one step closer to commercial implementation.
Of course, we’re not looking at an imminent future where cars drive themselves while their passengers snooze in the backseat, but what’s closer than ever before is a time when driver aids and human beings are collectively able to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities suffered on the roads each and every year quite monumentally.
For more information on vehicle automation or the various driver aids already making a difference, get in touch with the team at Stephen James today or visit the website at http://www.stephenjames.co.uk/.