It’s not news that human error is far and away the major cause in automobile accidents, with the cost of damages amounting to a staggering $212billion. The toll of death and disability is included, but really, that’s beyond a monetary figure.
It’s not even news that self-driving cars are on the way, estimated to arrive sometime in the next 3-5 years. Google’s been logging serious road time with them for some time now, but human hiccups persist.
Its main function is to add an extra element of safety in congested traffic. It relies upon a car in front of it traveling at 30mph or less, at which point it will be ‘pulled’ along while keeping centered in the lane:
Here’s what the prototype looks like with the full self-driving package on a real road with a real human in the driver’s seat making better use of his time:
And here’s what you can purchase now:
So much for being concerned whether or not a self-driving car is affordable.
This technology is now in the showroom, and frankly, it’s during congestive conditions that it will be the most effective. The full rollout in 2017 will be welcome, but Volvo has done the world a favor by making Pilot Assist available now.