Before cars start driving themselves completely, they’ll most likely start helping humans behave better on the road, politely ignoring instructions to run a red light or noticing traffic cones or other obstacles a driver might not see. A new system developed at MIT could help cars have our backs, letting them serve as semi-autonomous co-pilots.
Drivers of Volkswagens could soon forget about fender benders or lane drifting on the Autobahn — their cars will take care of those little problems.
The German automaker debuted a new "Temporary Autopilot" (TAP) program that can control the car semi-automatically at speeds up to 80 mph. It combines existing driver-assist functions found in many cars nowadays, like adaptive cruise control and side monitoring for safer lane-changing, with a radar system, laser scanner and ultrasonic sensors.
It's not KITT, but it's close: The Honda Accord ADAS, written up in the May issue of PopSci, can sense its proximity to other cars and objects and steer itself to stay within lane lines. And you thought cruise control was cool.