Aside from high tech code names, driverless, or autonomous cars are an actual thing. and unfortunately for luxury brands, there are only so many stereo and upholstery upgrades to be had so the next frontier is to actually get rid of the driver himself.
Big name luxury car brands are embracing the technology and rolling out concepts and showcases that bring that autonomy to the road. Roll-Royce recently unveiled its decadently opulent and supremely futuristic 103EX. Gullwing doors, covered wheels and silk throne are all included. I wonder if we will need champagne flutes in the next 100 years?
Mercedes on the other hand debuted their more practical F015 driverless concept that shows a more realistic picture for the next 25 years. This car has actually been road tested in the US which shows the commitment that M-B has to the technology. Mercedes-Benz already offers some form of autonomous control with advanced braking, smart cruise controls and lane departure systems in most of the model lineup. Steering wheel is still not optional.
Drivers shouldn’t rush to hand in their keys and driving gloves just yet as the industry copes with Tesla going under the microscope for crashes resulting from the company’s AutoPilot feature. While Tesla did say that the feature is still in ‘beta’ testing, the random left turn into a 18 wheeler just doesn’t sit well with us.
RAC Shop created this interesting infograhpic that gives a great rundown on the technology and the industry itself. Consider yourself schooled in autonomous cars:
By Doron Levy Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media / RAC Shop