Volkswagen Shows Off Self-Driving Auto Pilot Technology For Cars

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Volkswagen Temporary Auto Pilot in action

Volkswagen Temporary Auto Pilot in action

While most automakers try to fix the problems with today's tech, Volkswagen is working on tomorrow's. The future of driving, in major cities at least, is looking more and more likely to be done by high-tech computers rather than actual people, at least if the latest breakthroughs in self-driving vehicle technology mean anything. Internet search engine giant Google has logged some 140,000 miles with its self-driving Toyota Prius fleet and Audi has had similar success with its run of autonomous cars.

Now Volkswagen has presented its ‘Temporary Auto Pilot’ technology. Monitored by a driver, the technology can allow a car to drive semi-automatically at speeds of up to 80 mph on highways.

It works using a combination of existing technology such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, rolling them all into one comprehensive function. Nonetheless, the driver always retains driving responsibility and is always in control, and must continually monitor it. In this way, Volkswagen only sees it as a stepping stone towards what seems like an eventual future where nobody will be doing any driving.

In the semi-automatic driving mode, the system maintains a safe distance to the vehicle ahead, drives at a speed selected by the driver, reduces this speed as necessary before a bend, and maintains the vehicle’s central position with respect to lane markers. The system also observes overtaking rules and speed limits. Additionally, stop and start driving maneuvers in traffic jams are also automated.

The good news--or bad, depending on how you look at it--is that compared to the more advanced autonomous driving technologies, Volkswagen’s latest Temporary Auto Pilot is based on a relatively production-like sensor platform, consisting of production-level radar-, camera-, and ultrasonic-based sensors supplemented by a laser scanner and an electronic horizon.

This means that we could see a production version within the next couple of years.
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Comments (8)
  1. Didn't BMW have something similar? I remember a Top Gear episode where they tested out BMW auto pilot around the track.

  2. After I hit the lottery I would like that system installed in my new Rolls-Royce:)

  3. "The future of driving, in major cities at least, is looking more and more likely to be done by high-tech computers rather than actual people"

    Actually, it is much easier to make a self-driving car for the highway than for the city streets. On the highway, the current technologies assume that there is no pedestrian or cyclist for example and also relies on the fact that any such danger would quickly be seen by the human driver.

  4. If you look at the system Google is testing, their cameras detect the presence of road obstacles like pedestrians and bicyclists (for example, when attempting to make a turn)

  5. Sooner than I expected!

  6. This is awesome technology.

  7. ARE PEOPLE REALLY THIS DAMN LAZY?? Obviously, if you're wanting to sit behind the wheel of any vehicle, you must be more than willing to do everything it takes to drive & control that vehicle. If it's really a chore and you must have a vehicle that DRIVE'S ITSELF, PARK ITSELF, ETC,,,then maybe it's time to let someone else do the driving for you!!

  8. the car is great.........

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