The self-driving car: it's coming
Govt pledges a £10m prize for driverless car research. TG's Paul Horrell investigates
Posted: 04 Dec 2013
It's coming, almost by stealth. OK, the S-Class that drove those 60 miles was experimental, but actually its sensor hardware isn't far beyond what a production car has. I've driven a fully optioned showroom S-Class in traffic. It steers around bends by reading the white lines, and by using radar and cameras, knows the position of the car in front. It draws to a halt when the car ahead does, accelerates to follow it. It can do that all the way to autobahn speed. Sure, if you take your hands off the wheel for more than a few seconds, the car beeps at you to get back on the job. (Cadillac says it's two years away from putting this into production with unlimited hands-off. It's called Super Cruise.)
Just for trucking along in flowing traffic, the S-Class doesn't do badly provided it can see lane markings clearly. Plus it'll brake in an emergency if you neglect to, and warn you if there are cars in your blindspots. It's even got night vision. And it can park itself, as many cars now can.