While the concept may seem like mere science fiction, the fact is that self-driving cars are more or less a reality. Of course, they aren't a regular sight on the road right now, but that day doesn't seem too far off, according to Telematics Update, which points to efforts being made by major telematics and technology players such as Bosch.
In fact, Bosch recently began collaborating with the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab's Autonomous Driving Team and, based on a YouTube update about Bosch's autonomous driving technology, the technology is well on its way to being "street ready." The video demonstrates just how "smart" autonomous driving has become, which can not only take over driving for people altogether but also augment manual driving with greater visibility.
"Although the autonomous vehicle may still seem too much like the work of science fiction to roll out en masse, and there’s a lot of work still to be done," said Precksha Saksena-Sood, managing director of Telematics Update, in a statement. "The auto community is able to take a step in this direction via developments in vehicle-vehicle and vehicle-infrastructure communication technology, in order to improve mobility and safety on a global scale."
Google ,too, is hard at work on its own autonomous driving technology, which has developed to a point that the company hired National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) deputy director Ron Medford to help navigate legal issues. This came shortly after the administration began developing a program to set performance standards and regulations for autonomous vehicles.
While the development of regulations for autonomous driving will likely slow its time to market, it is also a positive sign as it demonstrates governmental acceptance.
Major auto manufacturers Audi and Toyota also announced their intentions to work on the technology at this year's CES in January. All of these factors considered, it's possible that we may see self-driving cars on the road sooner rather than later.
Edited by Rich Steeves