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VW's Auto-Pilot Plan

VW has debuted it's Auto-Pilot technology that allows cars to drive by themselves.... at speeds of up 80mph! (You can check it our right here.) VW says the new feature uses ultrasonic and radar-based sensors, laser scanners, video cameras and an electronic horizon to allow the car to read and react to road conditions by itself. And keeps a specific distance between your cars and the cars around you. Heck, Tommy couldn't even do all of that at the same time, three decades ago!

VW says the auto feature is supposed to be a second set of eyes in case the of driver distraction or fatigue. (Whatever happened to pulling over?!)

What do you think? How long will it take before drivers start allowing their VW to do the driving? Is this the same as cruise control, as VW claims, or is this one step away from napping behind the wheel?

like I said a year or so ago, give 'em 20 years and this will be normal. Looks like my predictions may be a bit off, but should be close.

Hmmm…Given the reliability of German-designed electronic systems, I predict that, once this is installed in VWs, we will be beseiged with questions about how to fix the malfunctioning Auto-Pilot system. And, unfortunately, the only answer will be to take it to the dealer for incredibly expensive repairs on a system like this. I really doubt that indy mechanics will ever want to work on something like this.

I think this kind of technology makes mass transit look better and better.

I agree…I just wish they (the mass transit folks at many major cities) could take a page from the Dutch book, and get a system that would work, run on time, and be reliable.

When I lived in Holland (the Netherlands for those that would correct me), I could take buses all over. They always ran on time, to the point I could look at my watch, figure 2 minutes to walk to the stop, and not wait more than a minute.

For this topic, though, I worry about those folks that seem to need a system like this. If there were some way to remove so many of the driver distractions we have today (from iPods to iPhones to navigation systems to radios to children), and put the driver back in the frame of mind of driving, they wouldn’t be as necessary as so many seem to think they are. I can see accidents and backups happening far ahead of me, much farther, I believe, than this electronic gadget can. Driving isn’t seen as a privelege, anymore, but more as a right. It’s sad.

Google’s beat VW to the punch - they just got the Nevada legislature to pass a law allowing their driverless cars legal in NV:

I’d rather have autonomous railcars as the safety is more deterministic.

What we need are autonomous railways where at Interstate “exits” one might drive onto a railcar, latch down and plug in one’s EV charging umbilical, program one’s destination, and go to sleep while being delivered cross country.