Self-Driving Cars - Here They Come!

Alice Nicolson

By: Alice Nicolson

Production is underway and we’re expecting to have fully functional autonomous cars by 2020. This doesn’t mean that you will be able to walk into a dealership and buy a self-driving car in four years, but it does mean that you might see one being tested a lot sooner than you’d think! Exciting, right?

Numerous manufacturers are working on cars that don’t have pedals or a steering wheel, while others are working on an advanced autopilot system. So which companies are working on these futuristic machines? More than you might think.

Check out these four firms who are stepping into the unknown and making a car that doesn’t necessarily need your input.

Ford

In August of this year, Ford made the exciting announcement that they are working on a fully autonomous car. The car it is proposing doesn’t need a driver at all. It has no pedals or steering wheel, so everyone in the car can sit back and relax – if you can.

Company President, Mark Fields, wants the technology to help everyone, not just people who can afford it. The added convenience would mean people will be able to spend more time on other things, rather than just driving.

“Whether you want to do work, whether you want entertainment… those are the types of things we are thinking about as we design the experience for this type of autonomous vehicle,” Fields enthused.

The Ford self-driving car is going to be ready in 2021 and it’s not just about luxury. It’s going to be part of Ford’s mobility scheme, so it will be available for everyday drivers.

Volvo

It’s the one you’ve all been waiting for! The safety pioneers of the motoring industry, the people who invented the three-point seat belt and rear facing car seats are producing an autonomous car.

It’s Volvo, of course! The Swedish manufacturer believes that the use of these cars will ultimately make the roads safer. There’s incentive to make this work, as Volvo pledged soon, no one should die or get seriously injured in a Volvo car by 2020.

Unlike Ford’s autonomous cars, the Volvo is more like an airplane. It will have an autopilot mode that will take over and you can get on with something else. You can drive manually if you want, too. It’s more like having a car that you can drive but you don’t always have to, great for those arduous motorway slogs. 

Google

You read it right, Google are joining the party too. Their pod-like cars are designed to drive you around and you don’t have to lift a finger. Like the Ford prototype, it doesn’t have any pedals or a steering wheel – but it could probably do a three-point turn better than most.

Similar to other autonomous cars, it works with sensors to navigate the cars around busy streets. The sensors objects analyse the movements, shape and size of objects and acts accordingly, making it prepared for erratic behaviour of pedestrians and other cars.

You might think the self-driving car project would be a relatively new thing. You’d be wrong! Google already introduced a self-driving bicycle in Amsterdam in April 2016. It’s incredible to think Google started the self-driving car project way back in 2009!

Tesla

As one of the most ambitious companies on the planet, Tesla wants to show the world that electric cars could be just as much fun as conventional cars. In the bid to create sustainable, emission free vehicles, the Model S and the Model X were born. Tesla even produced the Tesla Roader, the world’s first electric sports car.

Today, its mission is to perfect Tesla Autopilot car, with the belief that the roads will be safer when you take the human-aspect out of driving.

All Tesla cars currently have self-driving ability, but the driver needs to stay alert as it isn’t completely autonomous, or faultless. But as far as using a robot car goes, they’re pretty close already!

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