BMW has recently shown off self driving vehicles that are able drift around cones and bends.
The 2-Series Coupe and 6-Series Gran Coupe have been modified and are now, without the intervention of a driver able to race around a track and control a power slide.Which does make you wonder they would consider doing the same thing to the 3 series or 5 series model from the German brand ?.
The cars adapt to their surroundings by using cameras, a radar which is 360 degrees and ultrasonic sensors. This latest autonomous technology was demonstrated by the BMW company at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) which recently took place in Las Vegas.
Who else is joining the self drive vehicles scene ?
BMW are not the only car manufacturer that are currently experimenting with autonomous technology. Toyota also demonstrated it’s autonomous vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. Also, Bosch, which is a name you will probably recognise from washing machines and power tools also unveiled it’s self parking technology, which is controlled by smartphone at the show.
There are around 50,000 fatalities on roads in the United States every year, so car manufacturers are hoping that cars controlled by sensors and software could prove to be less accident prone than vehicles which are controlled manually.
A study last year by the Eno Center for Transportation suggests that fatalities in the United States could be reduced to around 1,000 if 10% of vehicles on the roads were autonomous.
There are a number of technologies to assist drivers that have already been added to the latest vehicles, from self parking to warnings of lane drifting.
So how does the future look for self driving vehicles on our roads ?
Currently in the U.S, Nevada, California and Florida have licensed autonomous vehicles so that they can be tested on their roads and Google’s 24 robot fleet of Lexus Sports Utility Vehicles have covered around 500,000 miles of autonomous driving to date without any mishaps being reported.
European roads will not allow autonomous vehicles as of yet, so we are a long way off seeing cars without drivers throughout our roads and motorways.