We are constantly being made aware of the new car technologies out there, coming soon to a vehicle near you and supposedly every new vehicle will have some sort of connectivity by the end of 2014. Car lovers everywhere are constantly excited with the next car technology feature that is going to blow the last one out of the water. We have had infotainment systems which have apps that can help drivers with their directions, tell you how long it is going to be until a traffic light changes and what are the best petrol prices from the up and coming stations on your journey, we have heard of all sorts and they are constantly being created and updated. Self driving car technology may just be the latest.
Google have been pushing self driving car technology over the past three years, Audi showed off the company’s first self driving car, at the most recent CES and now Mercedes have also thrown it’s hat into the ring. The automaker showed off the virtual chauffer technology in Hamburg Germany, in the brand new $100,000 S-Class. Mercedes have said that this car can steer itself during City traffic and can even keep in it’s lane at over 120 miles per hour on a highway, as long as it is the right conditions. The car is also able to park itself, brake automatically if there is a threat of hitting a pedestrian or another vehicle and apparently can even tell when a driver is becoming dangerously tired. Mercedes have compared this to the autopilot system of a plane, in which the plane performs many of the necessary routine tasks that are necessary to get it from A to B, while the human just keeps it’s eye on what is going on and watches out for anything troubling.
This is just the beginning of self driving car technology of course, Mercedes want to eventually make the car smart enough to be able to change lanes safely whilst driving at Autobahn speeds. While the technology that is being packed into the vehicle by Mercedes is impressive, there is still a long way from the car actually being able to drive itself. Users will certainly be required by law to have at least one hand on the steering wheel of the vehicle always, so it is not as though owners of the car could just sit back and read the paper on their way to work. However, with major corporations such as Google and Audi and of course now Mercedes making autonomous cars a priority, there is an extremely good chance that many automakers will meet the three to five year timeline for self driving car technology that Google has been aiming for.