It’s no surprise really that the world and his dog are all looking to develop driverless cars. Clearly 20-30 years from now, they will be the norm and us poor, puppeteers of speed will be relegated to passengers in our own vehicle. While some may lament the loss of the freedom of an afternoon drive on the weekend, most will simply be happy to catch a few extra minutes of sleep on the commute to work, or finish that last game of Candy Crush before dropping the kids off at school.
With that in mind, it’s no real surprise either that Tesla, the electric car maker that recently released all of its patents on electric car design to help aid the creation and popularisation of the car technology, is also looking to develop its own automated car solutions. This isn’t confirmed, though is likely to be this week, but comes from a source said to be close to the situation (via USAToday).
It’s not known if Tesla plans on making a full automated, self driving car, or if it will just consign itself to introducing helpful technologies like lane assist and autonomous emergency braking, though it seems likely that if the former is planned for the future, the latter will be introduced shortly.
Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, has previously said that he’s a big fan of the way planes have autopilot modes for the simpler aspects of a journey, suggesting that potentially Tesla vehicles could introduce a smart cruise control system which would allow drivers to be able to switch it on (and therefore switch off themselves) during motorway driving to help make the journey a little more interesting for the driver. This is the kind of tech we’ve been seeing from other manufactures for a little while now, with the likes of Ford, Skoda, VW and others already introducing vehicles with autonomous braking to help prevent accidents and lane assist technologies to stop the vehicle drifting out of the lane due to a lack of concentration.
It will also be interesting to see if Tesla looks to implement city driving autonomous features too, such as low speed autonomous braking in the case of a passenger or other “obstacle,” ending up in front of the vehicle without warning. Volvo has developed a similar technology that focuses on animals, highlighting them at a distance and applying the brakes automatically if the driver is unable to react in time to stop a collision.
Tesla is expected to make any revelations about its autonomous technology in just two days time, as earlier this year it issued invitations to a conference event on the 9th October. The invites featured a picture of an ajar garage door, featuring a large letter D on its front, while underneath, in the small gap created by the opening door, a Tesla Model S can be seen in the shadows.
What do you guys think Tesla will be showing off the most at this upcoming event?