2015 Honda CR-V is not self driving, yet
Autonomous cars and trucks are comming: My friend and fellow automotive journalist John Goreham is a good man. He’s excited about the future capability of autonomous self-driving and parking cars. As John rightfully stated, the technology has been around for several years. Google’s had a remote controlled driverless car terrorizing the residents of Mountain View, Ca. for years. Yes, the technology works and is viable as a not too future virtual tow traffic train.
As reported by our friends at NBC News, Honda R&D of Japan recently conducted a live demonstration of Honda’s programmed self-driving car on an 8 mile loop around Detroit.
The specially equipped Acura RLX drove a Honda engineer and fellow automotive journalist onto a freeway on ramp, obtained freeway speed, adjusted following distance to prevailing traffic speed, safely exited the freeway and parked itself; without the aid of a human operator.
Several cars and SUVs in North America Acura’s lineup, including RLX,TLX, MDX and RDX feature camera and radar monitored and activated passive and active accident prevention electronics that can ( to a certain extent) drive themselves without the aid of a human occupant.
Honda Accord Touring, Pilot, CR-V Touring and Crosstour also feature variations of these systems. For those of us that prefer self driving, watching our own lane changes and cruise control following distance, can disable the system with the push of a button.
What the future holds for all auto manufacturers
Companies such as American Honda Motors look to reduce auto accident fatalities 50% by year 2020. That’s less than a model year down the road for most manufacturers. Driver aafety is Honda's real-time motivation for developing automated driving systems; it''s a company-wide mantra.
While EV icon Tesla Motors touts a self driving system for Tesla S that may come to fruition in 2016, it coulld be noted(today) that hands-free driving is illegal in the U.S.. Much like the guy that goes to the galley in his motor home to make a sandwich while driving down Route 66 on cuise control, the broad implications of automated GPS dirrected driving can and will be hazardous.
Who’s on first, who's on second?
Who cares? We know two things for sure, automated driving will be implemented first in Boston. Los Angeles and New York. That’s where the money and the cooperative effort between civic and corperate entity works to develop these systems and where traffic mitigation is most needed.
The 2014 Los Angeles Auto show will host a conference on autonomous driving within commuter networks. Stay tuned for further reports and developments from L.A.