mwalsh wrote:...the autonomous stuff is of little interest to me. I'm a driver, in every sense of the word. Of course, if it keeps all the idiots who can't drive out of my way, then perhaps the technology has validity after all! I just don't want it in any of my cars...
IMO, in ~ a decade or so, you probably won't many options to buy a new car without it.
Very high insurance premiums and (I hope) much more stringent driving tests and licensing requirements for human-driven cars, and the collapse of resale values for all cars without it,
will make it
Nearly everyone believes they are a better driver than average, and the ~34,000 US traffic deaths a year are because of other idiots...
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/16/autom ... =all&_r=1&
FRANKFURT — A wide grin beneath his bushy mustache, Dieter Zetsche, the chief executive of Daimler, did as car executives often do at auto shows, cruising onto the stage in the company’s newest model. But at the Frankfurt motor show last week, Mr. Zetsche added a surprise: he sprang from the back of a Mercedes S-Class that had no one in the driver’s seat.
Cars that drive themselves have been a science fiction dream for decades, but at the Frankfurt show, there was a palpable sense that the technology was moving quickly from laboratories and test vehicles to dealer showrooms. If the visionaries have their way, the autonomous autos could greatly reduce the number of accidents and give makers — especially in Europe — something they badly need: a new reason for people to buy cars.
While robot taxis and the like are still probably more than a decade away, auto executives said, cars that handle most of the driving with minimal human intervention could be available by the end of this decade.
“In 2020, all the problems and challenges we are seeing today in allowing an autonomous driving car will be solved,” Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of the Renault-Nissan alliance, told reporters at the auto show.
The latest version of the Mercedes S-Class, which goes on sale in the United States next month starting at slightly more than $92,000, is able to brake and accelerate by itself on the highway or in stop-and-go traffic. And it can steer itself on a straight or lightly curved road. For safety and legal reasons, the driver still needs to keep a hand on the wheel, and to be ready to cope with more complicated situations.
Luxury carmakers like BMW and Audi are working on their own autonomous systems, which are moving ever closer to vehicles that can do almost all the driving themselves. While buyers of expensive vehicles will get the technology first, suppliers and midmarket automakers are pushing hard to bring self-driving features to the masses, making them as affordable and ubiquitous as cruise control and anti-lock brakes...