Report: GM intends to offer semi-autonomous vehicles by 2020

Filed under: Safety, Technology, Crossover, Cadillac, GM, Luxury

2013 Cadillac SRX

Prepare for a few years of technological saber-rattling, as the world’s automakers begin pushing to bring self-driving cars to market. Earlier this week, Nissan announced that it aims to offer autonomous vehicles by 2020, while Google, BMW and several other marks are working on similar efforts.

General Motors is doing things differently, though. Rather than push for a fully autonomous car, it’s continuing to refine its semi-autonomous Super Cruise, a product that we tested in April 2012 and that will eventually see use on some Cadillacs before trickling down to the rest of the General Motors family. Super Cruise, which is undergoing testing in the Cadillac SRX, doesn’t take complete control out of the driver’s hands. Rather, under a very specific set of circumstances on the freeway, it will marry the capabilities of things like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control to allow the driver to take their hands off the wheel. All of which sounds a lot like the system Mercedes-Benz is launching on the 2014 S-Class.

The system is still in development, according to John Capp, GM’s director of electrical controls and active safety technology. Now that that the biggest hurdle, steering control, has been cleared, GM’s engineers can focus on things like teaching the system to adapt to differing road conditions and visibility levels. As we reported in 2012, Super Cruise is still befuddled in low-visibility situations or when road markings aren’t particularly clear.

And for those who are worried that semi-autonomous cars will lead to drivers treating the cars as fully autonomous (a seriously dangerous situation), GM engineer Charles Green tells USA Today, “Super Cruise will be designed in a way to help keep your visual attention on the road ahead. The ‘how’ is something that will become more apparent as we show Super Cruise in its later versions.”

GM intends to offer semi-autonomous vehicles by 2020 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Nissan promising autonomous car production by 2020

Filed under: Safety, Technology, Nissan, Electric

Nissan Leaf Autonomous Drive demonstrator

Nissan will bring the autonomous car to consumers by the end of this decade. The announcement was made by CEO Carlos Ghosn at the company’s US headquarters in Irvine, CA. Nissan has already begun construction of a dedicated proving ground for the self-driving cars in Japan, with completion targeted for the end of 2014.

Teaming with MIT, Stanford, Oxford and others, Nissan has already outfitted Leaf EVs with the Autonomous Drive (Nissan’s brand name for the tech), a suite of new technologies developed from the brand’s existing Safety Shield technology. The current iteration of Autonomous Drive uses the Around-View Monitoring system and laser scanners to analyze the environment, while artificial intelligence systems have been installed to help navigate and operate in a changing environment.

While it’s easy to say that Nissan will bring the technology to market within the next six or seven years, it’s more difficult to say at what price Autonomous Drive will be available. Most remarkable about all of this is Nissan’s claim that self-driving cars will be both commercially viable and available at “realistic prices for consumers.” It’s expecting Autonomous Drive to be available across its range within two vehicle generations.

Nissan’s motivation rests largely with the number of accidents that happen on US roads alone each year – six million accidents that cost consumers $160 million and kill more people between the ages of four and 34 than anything else. Considering the overwhelming majority of those accidents are caused by human error, this tech seems like a great idea.

Carlos Ghosn demonstrated Nissan’s resolve towards bringing the tech to market, saying, “In 2007 I pledged that – by 2010 – Nissan would mass market a zero-emission vehicle. Today, the Nissan Leaf is the best-selling electric vehicle in history. Now I am committing to be ready to introduce a new ground-breaking technology, Autonomous Drive, by 2020, and we are on track to realize it.” Those are some bold words, but what Nissan is promising now is far more complex than a new drivetrain. We look forward to seeing what it comes up with.

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Nissan promising autonomous car production by 2020 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Autoglass envisions the windshield of 2020

Filed under: Etc., Technology, Videos

autoglass windshield 2020

Autoglass windshield of 2020 – Click above to watch the video after the jump

We don’t spend much time thinking about our windshields, yet we spend a good portion of our lives looking right through them. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of room for improvement. The folks at Autoglass envision a smart windshield that does away with a nav screen on the center stack in favor of all the necessary information being displayed on your auto’s most important piece of glass.

Beyond the jump is a video simulation that shows what that windshield might look like from the driver’s seat. Among the displayed information is data for navigation, music, speed and fuel. The futuristic, king-of-all-head-up-displays also warns of pedestrians and an arrow even points to potential destinations.

Apparently, the windshield isn’t smart enough to know that the vehicle is driving on the wrong side of the road. And if you’re hoping the five-speed auto transmission will be dead and gone by 2020, it’ll be alive and well, at least according to this demo. Must be a Honda. Hit the jump to watch the windshield of 2020 in (simulated) action.

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Autoglass envisions the windshield of 2020 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 19:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Foresight 2020: F1 Racing projects the future grand prix racer

Filed under: Concept Cars, Motorsports, Racing

F1 Racing's 2020 projection

F1 Racing’s 2020 projection – Click above for high-res images

Think of what a future F1 race car might look like and you’re likely to conjure up images similar to the Red Bull X1 prototype. But the fact is, in all likelihood, an F1 car nine years from now will look pretty much like the ones we see today. After all, how radically different are contemporary F1 racers from the ones we saw a decade ago?

You can expect some significant changes to come into effect, though, over the coming decade, as the sport grapples with finding the sweet-spot in terms of spectacle, environmental friendliness and the like. Speaking with Renault F1 designer Pat Symonds, F1 Racing magazine came up with their projection. It takes into account such anticipated features as low-profile tires on larger wheels, ground-effect aerodynamics returning to replace the downforce reduced by the standardized rear wing and a beefier Kintetic Energy Recovery System good for a 250 horsepower boost.

Of course all these projections could prove way off by the time 2020 rolls around, but they could prove spot on. We’ll just have to keep watching to find out. In the meantime you can see the only two images which the publication has released, or head to the newsstand to see more.

Gallery: F1 Racing’s 2020 projection

[Source: F1 Racing]

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Foresight 2020: F1 Racing projects the future grand prix racer originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jan 2011 18:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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