Once all problems with hacking and technology being able to make rational decisions on the road and safety is perfected we will eventually have self driving cars passing by on the highway.
The age of the driverless car will probably arrive eventually, but today the reality still falls far short of the promise. In the short time since Tesla released a software update for the Model S that enables their Auto Pilot feature, several owners have posted videos online of the system steering the car either into oncoming traffic or toward roadside barriers. After a week, driving the new 2016 Volvo XC90, it too demonstrated the limitations of even some of the most capable driver assist systems currently available.
Safety has been an integral part of Volvo’s brand DNA for decades and even under the ownership of China’s Geely Group, the Swedish brand has been allowed to remain true to itself. Volvo has a long-standing goal of no fatalities or serious injuries in its vehicles by 2020. Early this year, Volvo announced its Drive Me program for 2017 which will put a fleet of 100 semi-autonomous XC90s into consumer hands in a real-world test program around its home base of Gothenburg, Sweden.
The engineers developing those vehicles will have their work cut out for them because the technology available on the road today is not robust enough to take over from the driver in many real-world conditions.
Radar-based adaptive cruise control and camera-based lane keeping assist systems are becoming increasingly commonplace on even mainstream models like the Ford Fusion and Chrysler 200 so it’s no surprise to find both functions on the XC90. Volvo’s big crossover goes a step further this year with a feature called pilot assist.
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