Posted: / Updated:
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — With cars being more high-tech than ever, the race is on to bring self-driving cars to the roads. A recent race in Las Vegas featured Indy-style cars, but there’s a catch: there were no racecar drivers.
The fully autonomous vehicles make their own decisions like when to pass.
Automakers are trying to bring the technology on display from the track- to the road.
“We’re definitely finally getting closer to having self-driving cars,” said Tim Stevens, the Editor-in-Chief of CNET’s Roadshow.
Stevens says many new cars have level 2 autonomous functions, and that includes lane-keeping assist.
“When you step up to level three, that’s when things start to get interesting,” continued Stevens.
Last year, Honda introduced a vehicle that changes lanes on its own, and in a traffic jam, the driver can take their eyes off the road.
GM’s Supercruise lets drivers go hands-free in certain conditions. Next year, the company will release Ultra Cruise which promises hands-free driving in 95% of conditions.
Waymo is taking the technology a step further, now offering cab rides in Phoenix. The cars cannot operate alone in inclement weather that may interfere with sensors.
Full autonomy is just a concept at this point.
Automakers envision a future where vehicles won’t need any human involvement, but Stevens says first it will require better sensors.
“That gives these cars, the ability to detect with millimetric precision every obstacle that’s around them and find a safe path through it,” continued Stevens.
Companies are now testing advanced 3D Lidar systems with that capability, racing to bring self-driving cars a step closer to reality.