Ask any employee of Google who commutes to work in one of Google’s driverless vans and they will tell you – their lives are already changed. But, for most of us, the driverless-car future is still on the way.
Audi led the way with its self-piloted sports car – two years ago
Audi tested a driverless car on a track in northern Germany. The autonomous car flew around the Hockenheimring track without a problem at speeds of up to 149 miles per hour.
Other manufacturers in the self-driving race
Audi is joined by companies like Tesla, Mercedes and other high-profile players in this race to develop cars that drive themselves. While many brands already have self-parking and self-stopping functions, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, has said he expects his company to be the first to market “significant” self-driving functions. Musk forecast that, within three or four years, drivers could potentially go to sleep and wake up at their destination.
Audi’s previous demonstration
Though Audi has been working on these advances for more than a decade, they first attracted the world’s attention in 2010, when its Audi TTS made a driverless ascent up Pikes Peak, but only at a top speed of 45 mph.
Full autonomy is just a matter of time
Clearly, full autonomy technology is not perfect; however it’s just a matter of time, particularly with more and more countries on board with testing them out.
Future of Public Transit – driverless buses
Last month, the Dutch-designed WEpods, an abbreviation of Wageningen and Ede, two towns in the south-central Netherlands, began ferrying dignitaries and visitors to a local university via their autonomous six-passenger vehicles that look something like enclosed, oversized golf carts. Unlike similar autonomous transport systems currently in use, such as the Rotterdam Rivium bus or the Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW) or Heathrow (LHR) airport shuttles, these electrically powered vehicles do not run on dedicated tracks; instead, they roll on the same roadways used by human drivers.
WEPods are clearly robots that drive on public roads. Driverless-cars are simply one more example of how automation will affect the jobs of ordinary employees, as we move into the future. Imagine being able to relax or even sleep on the way to work? That future will be here before we know it.
Click here to watch the self-piloted Audi drive the Hockenheimring track.