As Self-Driving Cars Get Closer, Auto Makers Beef Up Safety Advances
With driverless cars being continually tested, it's just a matter of time before autonomous vehicles are out on the road in full force.
In the meantime, auto makers are working toward bridging the gap with additional safety features that will incrementally bring more vehicles the same or similar technology. Forbes is reporting that auto manufacturers such as Ford and Subaru are ramping up their safety technology – in addition to Mercedes-Benz – to begin bridging the gap of what's now to what will be with self-driving cars.
In particular, Forbes points out Subaru recently introducing its bolstered EyeSight driver assist technology, which offers everything from intelligent cruise control, lane departure and sway warning to pre-collision braking and pre-collision throttle management. The adaptive cruise control can bring your vehicle to a complete stop if sensors feel the distance between you and the car in front of you is closing too rapidly.
"The vehicle is making a simple decision — not to go faster than the car in front of you," said Doug Patton, executive vice president of engineering and chief technical officer of the tech-supplying company Denso International America, Inc. in Southfield, Michigan.
The EyeSight system is just one example of the influx of tech advances that auto manufacturers will likely keep introducing from now until driverless cars go into mass production. Patton added that while many car makers already offer lane-departure warnings, he believes that technology will be bolstered.
"If you ask me what's available tomorrow, the next thing is lane-keeping. And when I say tomorrow, I mean literally tomorrow," he told Forbes. "In the next year or so, you're going to start seeing a lot of those kinds of technologies."
That said, although Google continues to test driverless cars and seemingly more auto manufacturers are interested in delivering one by the day, Patton still thinks the majority of the public is still a long way from surrendering their vehicles.
"My definition of true self-driving is what I call, 'sleeping in the back seat,' Patton said. "Everybody jumps to that conclusion, but if that's your idea of what qualifies, it is a long way away, it is going to be a long, long time."