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Cars of the Future…

Say hello to the cars of the future; they may be coming sooner than you first thought. While at some point talking cars that drove for us were part of science fiction movies the time for manual driving might be drawing to a close. The technological capacity for a self-aware vehicle is here; programming so advanced that the vehicle could rather easily learn to interpret your favourite routes, the location of your home, your place of work, where all of your family live and much more as well as internet links allowing your vehicle to view traffic, weather, road works and various other items of information to provide you with the best possible route and drive it for you.

As this stage humans are the remaining flaw in the equation; accidents are almost always the fault of the drivers – take away the human element from driving and it becomes an entirely logic based process. There are a number of projects under development that would lead to the production of fully automated cars and it has already been proven more than once that the technology works, with fine-tuning and further development it could easily become more sophisticated than a professional driver and would use a similar interface to your phone or tablet making it a reliable and easy to adapt to option.

BMW are among the first to display their self-assisted car, which is capable of fully integrating with Google maps, not only to drive you to your destination but also suggest destinations if there is something in particular you are looking for. The only thing left is to wait for the self-assisted vehicles to become road legal, and in the opinion of many this is considered a case of when rather than if. There is little, if any doubt, that this is something that will happen sooner or later, the technology is simply too capable to ignore.

There are already ‘self-assisted’ applications present in prototype vehicles, most famously Ford’s parking function. Ford implemented a fully automated parking feature in 2013, which will actually park the car for you. This is, undeniably, perfect for those who struggle to get the car into the parking space the first time, it also proves that the self-assisted features can work. The vehicle uses a multitude of sensors, you simply stop beside the desires space and instruct the car to park there and it will; you don’t even need to be in the vehicle. Alongside this Ford also announced the Obstacle Avoidance technology, which uses the same sensors to detect obstacles around the vehicle including pedestrians and stop or avoid these obstacles as needed.

It is not yet clear what Ford plan to do with this technology, though it is tests and shown to be fully functional it is not clear whether this will be released with the next generation of Ford vehicles. It does seem increasingly possible however that there will be a battle among the manufacturers to produce the first line of road legal, fully automated vehicles when the time comes that these could become road legal.

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Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by Katy Quinn About Us

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