Startup Creates Autopilot To Make Any Car Driverless [VIDEO]

Lauren Eissler Contributor
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A San Francisco startup has created an autopilot that can be installed in any car, eventually.

Created by Cruise, the technology is currently only compatible with Audi A4 or S4s, according to Business Insider.

Cruise RP-1 costs $10,000, but only takes a few hours to install. While it’s only available for a few vehicles at the moment, the engineers plan to expand quickly.

According to Cruise’s website, this technology has precision steering, adaptive speed control, collision avoidance and advanced car and lane tracking.

These make sure that the car stays in the lane and a proper distance from the car ahead.

“We’re trying to reuse as many concepts and behaviors as you already have in your car, such as a single button to control the cruise control,” says Cruise co-founder Kyle Vogt. “Whatever speed you’re going becomes the target speed.”

This autopilot’s even connected to an app. From this app, people can monitor their surroundings, speed and lane marker detection from their phones.

The autopilot has three main components: A sensor pod is placed on top of the car, a small computer is mounted in the car’s trunk and tied into the car’s electrical system, and components are installed behind the pedals to control auto-steering, acceleration and braking.

But there’s still safety testing to do. Vogt said they’re doing third-party testing and a lot of road testing.

“Anytime you’re working with a vehicle it’s a safety thing,” Vogt said. “There are standard processes every automaker goes through to get things like this approved, and it’s a time-proven process. Despite the fact that there are no federal mandates saying we do this, we want to.”

Vogt said in most of the fatal car accidents, people are at fault, not machines.

“There are 30,000 people who die in car accidents per year in the U.S.; most of those accidents are caused by drivers, not machines,” he said. “In a situation where the tech exists to solve this problem, we have a responsibility to solve that issue.”


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Tags : technology
Lauren Eissler