“Few people know this, but back in the 1980s and 1990s, Mercedes-Benz was already experimenting with driverless vehicles that can accelerate, brake, steer, and pretty much make a trip through traffic by themselves and not crash into anyone.
It all started on October 1st, 1986, when the Eureka PROMETHEUS (Program for European Traffic with Highest Efficiency and Unprecedented Safety) Pan-European project was launched by then Daimler-Benz in cooperation with several European car manufacturers, electronics producers and suppliers, institutes and universities.”
“In one exercise during my Super Cruise demonstration, a Chevy Volt darted in front of our SRX as the car was driving itself. Still traveling at 60 mph, the SRX immediately braked, adjusted its speed to maintain a safe distance behind the Volt, and slightly shifted the wheel to stay centered in the lane. In a situation where a person might overreact and jerk the wheel, causing the car to careen into another vehicle or off the road, I didn’t do a thing. I just sat there. I don’t think I even flinched. I love driving, but who wouldn’t want that as an option in their next car?”
Automated cars capable of roaming the streets while the driver literally takes a back seat may be some way off, but Renault might have come up with a simpler version that it says will be in production by 2020.
As part of research into advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), engineers have equipped a Zoe EV with hardware and software that enable it to drive autonomously at up to 20mph on specially designated, pedestrian-free roads such as urban dual carriageways.
S U P P L I E R S T O O E M ‘s