Driverless cars may still be quite far away from mass-production, but that doesn’t mean that car makers are not making the most of what’s already available in that field. Luxury car makers are experimenting with driverless car technologies to make their cars even more appealing, and the results are nothing short of impressive. Here’s how some of the most renowned car makers make use of futuristic driverless car technologies right now.
Mercedes is one of the most popular names in the industry of luxury cars, and it’s no stranger to the world of car-technology either, so it’s no wonder the company dipped its toes into driverless car tech. After demonstrating the Intelligent Drive concept all the way back in 2013 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and showcasing its view of the future of driverless with the Mercedes F015 Luxury in Motion concept car at CES2015, Mercedes pushed beyond prototypes and started implementing driverless car tech in its production cars. As a result, 2017 Mercedes E-Class comes with the Drive Pilot System, which allows the car to follow the car in front of it, while on the highway, at speeds of up to 130 mph. Other technologies will allow the car to keep its lane, assist with switching lanes, help prevent accidents when performing evasive maneuvers and even communicate with other smart cars or infrastructure.
BMW is another prestigious car manufacturer that’s been playing with autonomous car tech, managing to make their cars do a whole lot more than just drive autonomously – they can drift autonomously. While this may sound like a feature only racing fans and maybe teenagers would enjoy, it does have some practical aspects in the real driving conditions as well – teaching a car how to drift autonomously basically means teaching it how to regain control when it swirls out of control due to a sudden maneuver. This is still a proof-of-concept technology, but there are plenty driverless car-specific technologies already present in BMW’s luxury line of vehicles, namely the 7 Series, such as autonomous remote parking and the Driving Assistant Plus suite of features.
Porsche is renowned for its iconic sports cars. It is also renowned for being against the whole driverless-cars trend. Be that as it may, it is still working on some interesting driverless tech and a fully-electric car, both facts indicating that the company can be full of surprises. The aforementioned self-driving tech aims to increase cornering speeds in order to preserve the car’s speed, and thus reduce fuel consumption by removing the need to decelerate and accelerate at every turn. With the system rumored to be able to handle cornering forces of up to 0.7G, it will be interesting to see whether the systems make it to Porsche’s luxury cars as well, or if it will be limited to its sport line for the extra thrill.
Volvo is one of the key players in the driverless-car race, already testing self-driving cars in Sweden, with an ambitious project to put 100 self-driving cars on public roads in real traffic, across the world, in 2017. Before fully driverless Volvos are ready to take over, though, the company made the most out of some of the systems, so the 2017 Volvo S90 comes with a semi-autonomous driving system that allows it to keep its lane and speed, with its highlight feature being the fact that it does this by accurately monitoring the road and environment, and not by tagging after the vehicle in front of it, such as the case of most of the other cars that feature autonomous cruise control. This means that the S90 can also go autonomously when there is no other car around – a leap forward.
Genesis is a brand under the control of Hyundai, which is set to house the company’s line of luxury cars. It is off to a great start, with its flagship model, the Genesis G90 targeting the Mercedes S550 as its direct competitor – a very daring move. The tech behind the Genesis G90 might allow it to have a fair chance, though, considering the fact that the car comes with a similar level of luxury as the S550, and it’s not bad on the tech side either, incorporating several autonomous-driving features such as active cruise control, pedestrian detection or emergency braking system.
By Edward Francis and Design911.co.uk!