Through the use of cameras, sensors and computers, on-road test vehicles are successfully driving themselves!
What just a few years ago seemed like science fiction is quickly becoming a reality. Technology giants such as Google and Apple are teaming up with major automobile manufacturers in developing and road-testing self-driving cars and smaller SUVs. Google’s concept cars are already on the road this very minute! So how long will it be until you can purchase an accessible vehicle that drives itself?
All of the models on the road are currently in beta-testing, but Google has claimed that they hope these vehicles will be for sale to the general public by 2020. There were huge strides earlier this month when the federal government announced guidelines and procedures for safety and operation. One of the big challenges that remains is how this will affect insurance companies, especially if there are accidents. The scenario has already taken place when a Google Lexus AV (autonomous vehicle) drove into the side of a bus at low speed in Mountain View, CA.
Realistically, it will be several years before you will be able to purchase a self-driving minivan or larger SUV. Most of the models being tested are smaller vehicles like the Tesla Model S or Ford Fusion. However, earlier this summer Business Insider posted a picture of a self driving Ford Transit on the Golden Gate Bridge.
New Driver-Assist Technologies Available Today
It’s safe to assume that it will be another 10 years or more before self-driving accessible vehicles will be available. It’s anyone’s guess as to how soon it will become a reality. In the meantime, there is some exciting new technology available today for drivers to enjoy! The 2017 Wheelchair Accessible Chrysler Pacifica will be available at MobilityWorks by early next year and it has some optional features that are a step closer to self-driving. One of them is LaneSense, which provides a gentle corrective action if you move out of your lane without the turn signal being activated. Forward collision warning utilizes cameras and sensors, and will even break for you if an accident is imminent. The 360 Surround View Camera makes parking and maneuvering tight spaces a breeze! While these technology features don’t equal the excitement surrounding the use of self-driving cars, they are a step in the right direction toward making vehicles safer and more technologically advanced.