The Race is On
If you think that cars that drive themselves is 100 years away, think again. The race is on to have cars that drive themselves and are self-autonomous, by the year 2021. The new Mercedes-Benz 2017 will come equipped with a special optional package that the vehicle will be able to drive itself over extended straightaways and slight bends in the road. It’s coming. Want the proof?
Ford Motor Co recently announced that it would be putting a vehicle that drives itself out on the market by 2021. The vehicles would not be equipped with steering wheels or pedals. Recently, Uber also has offered autonomous rides in Pittsburgh, with a driver behind the wheel, just in case, on an experimental basis.
Google is working on an autonomous vehicle and already has 21 models out on the roads that can drive themselves. In May of this year, Google announced that it was pairing with Fiat-Chrysler to double it’s current fleet to add 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans that drive themselves.
BMW last month announced plans to release a fleet of self autonomous cars by 2021. BMW has ambitious plans to develop a range of autonomous vehicles with different levels of human and computer interaction. The California department of Transportation has granted consent to allow BMW to test driverless cars in that state.
General Motors is not out of the mix either. Earlier this year, GM bought an autonomous car start up, Cruise Automation, and has announced plans to work with Lyft to develop driverless cars.
Tesla has been developing self-driving technology more aggressively than any of the other car manufacturers. The S comes up with an Autopilot mode which automates steering, braking and lane switching, with the driver still being required to at least for now, keep their hands on the wheel.
Yes, the race is on. We are five years away or less from seeing vehicles out on the road, routinely and naturally, driving themselves. It will forever change the landscape of how we view personal transportation.