Kia will launch the Drive Wise sub-brand at CES as a way to market its advanced assistance features going forward. The company's ultimate goal is to produce a fully autonomous vehicle by 2030.
The march towards autonomous vehicles is far from limited to the civilian sector, as the military has been doggedly pursuing the idea of driverless vehicles for several years. Its latest initiative seeks to introduce a line of autonomous vehicles by a target date of 2025, according to the Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
If you had told us a decade ago that Google, of all companies, would be developing a driverless car, we likely would have asked you what you were smoking. But here we are, watching the Internet giant not only testing such systems on existing cars, but designing its own vehicles. It won't be the only one, it seems, as reports from China indicate that one of its own is following suit.
An increasing number of people are starting to consider the potential downsides of a transition to autonomous cars. The FBI is already looking at them for the potential ill effects on law enforcement, and a scientist for Toyota is raising the possibility that driverless vehicles could actually be detrimental to the environment over the long term.
Ask any car engineer what's the biggest variable in achieving fuel economy targets, and he'll tell you "the driver." If one human can't understand human driving behavior enough to be certain about an innocuous number like miles per gallon, how is an autonomous car supposed to figure out what hundreds of other drivers are going to do in the course of a day? Ford has enlisted the help of Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to find out.
Well, fellow humans, we're going to obsolete soon. A new study by IHS Automotive claims that by 2025, a mere 11 years from now, there will be 230,000 self-driving cars on world's roads. 10 years beyond that, the number will swell to 11.8 million, although only select models will do without any traditional means of human control by 2030. By the middle of the 21st century, nearly every vehicle on the road will be of the autonomous variety.
Autonomous cars may still be in their infancy, but more and more big names in the auto industry are diving in head first. Nissan is already making strides with a semi-autonomous Leaf EV and General Motors is planning to offer semi-autonomous tech by 2020. And then there's Google, doing its thing with a fleet of Toyota Prius. Now, Ford is showing off its latest automated effort, a driverless Fusion Hybrid.
After several years and thousands of miles of testing autonomous cars in California and Nevada, Google finally has something to show for its work – other than driving a blind man to get a taco. According to Technology Review, Chris Urmson, director of Google's self-driving car program, says that Google has data showing that autonomous cars are safer and smoother than actual drivers. This, of course, is a big improvement over Google's statement from 2011 that claimed autonomous cars are saf