There have been some advancement in the field of self-driving cars, although we guess the question here is do we really want self-driving cars? After all, some of us out there actually buy cars because we like driving them as opposed to using them merely as a mode of transportation. The good news for those who hate being stuck in stop-and-go traffic jams and long and boring highways is that the Continental Automotive Group is currently testing a self-driving vehicle that could be one of the first, if not the first, driverless vehicles to be licensed for use on public roads in Nevada.
Unlike Google’s attempt at a self-driving vehicle which called for sophisticated and expensive equipment, Continental’s take on the self-driving vehicle would be more of a semiautonomous version that they are hoping would be a more affordable and shorter-term solution using their own technology. What they have done is that they have taken a Volkswagen Passat and replaced its brake and steering controls with sensors and technology that would allow the vehicle to analyze its surroundings and drive accordingly.
Now in order to quality for Nevada’s special license, the company would have to complete a minimum of 10,000 miles of autonomous driving, which the company is close to reaching and has claimed that 90% of the driving was done without a hand on the wheel or a foot on a pedal, and are looking to hit that 10,000 mile mark in the next few weeks. Granted it might be a while before we actually see self-driving vehicles go up for sale and hit the roads, it’s good to know that the technology for it is readily available and autonomous vehicles for mass consumption could be closer than we think.
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