Rich Crocco

You May Be Closer to ‘Driving’ an Autonomous Car Than You Think

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Self-driving vehicles have evolved from seeming like a futuristic movie into a legitimate reality in just the past year. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is “gunning to put autonomous cars on the road by 2023.” Delphi Automotive recently completed a cross-country trip in an autonomous vehicle in nine days. Let’s get a little perspective on what we mean by self-driving, or autonomous, vehicles and what it means to us.

There is a good article in Newsweek Tech & Science named “How will the Transition to Self-Driving Cars Work?” which explains three stages of technology related to autonomous vehicles.

     Stage 1 – Limited autonomy that doesn’t depend on data sharing.
     Stage 2 – Semi-autonomy that utilizes shared data.
     Stage 3 – Full autonomy with shared data, advanced sensors and (perhaps) high-resolution mapping.

Stage 1 is basically improved bells and whistles in normal vehicles to assist drivers. Features include lane keeping assistance, cruise control radar, etc. We are used to seeing upgrades in all the technology we use so this is not too surprising. Some of these features are already on the market and we can expect to see more of them in the next few years. Read more…