Self-Driving Cars? Almost!
One of the newest features for cars that almost make a human driver irrelevant may one day be as common as the car radio.
High-end cars started the trend, but more proletariat models are also jumping on the bandwagon with built-in sophisticated systems that make use of onboard cameras and sensors plus adaptive cruise control to make road travel safer and nearly autonomous. New car models in 2014 are slated to include these safety systems that not only makes minor steering adjustments to keep the vehicle centered on the lane, it can also stop and go to avoid obstructions and collisions on the road. Some automakers even include the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake system in response to the disturbing number of serious car accidents involving those on foot and bicycles.
The safety systems take advantage of the increasing sophistication and decreasing prices of relevant technology, such as cameras and sensors coupled with an onboard computer which can make split-second choices. This eliminates the element of risk of car crashes associated with distracted driving or substance intoxication. The system is mostly effective on the highway, but it is anticipated that even more advances in the future may finally put one aspect of science fiction in reality: the self-driving car.