September 29, 2012

HUMANIZING CARS BY GETTING RID OF DRIVERS:

Self-driving cars are approaching fast -- and safely : As Google has worked on a fully self-driving car, some automakers have already employed autonomous safety features that are reducing crashes. (Jerry Hirsch, 9/29/12, Los Angeles Times)

Having a hard time parallel parking? Press a button on a touch screen and let the car park itself.

Want to stay a safe distance from the car ahead while traveling 65 mph? Switch on adaptive cruise control and let a radar-linked computer handle the accelerator, slowing and speeding your vehicle to keep pace. [...]

[A]utomakers already are pouring millions of dollars into systems that hand more control of a vehicle to a complex network of sensors and computers. Features such as collision avoidance systems that sense a potential crash and trigger the brakes or an alert that tells drivers they are wandering into adjacent lanes are making their way into more cars every year.

Industry, traffic and insurance experts believe that the advances are beginning to transform driving in a way that will reduce accidents and injuries.

"This is the future," said Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "Vehicles are designed to protect people when crashes happen, but it would be even better to prevent crashes from happening altogether."
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Posted by at September 29, 2012 7:10 AM
  

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