Hands Free Driving – Volkswagen’s Temporary Auto Pilot
>By Christopher Weaver
A new approach to a highly debated issue now comes from Volkswagen, who has put an interesting spin on automated driving technologies. The Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP) will let drivers a bit of freedom to take their hands off the wheel or pay extra attention to the radio by controlling the vehicle when the driver removes their hands.
Using radar, laser, camera, and ultrasonic sensors this Volkswagen can monitor it’s position, the position of other cars, and upcoming obstacles to safely accelerate and slow down according to the sensors. Good up to 80 mph, but don’t stop looking since these aren’t fully automated cars like Google has produced.
This comes at an interesting time when new laws are being pushed to allow further automated vehicle testing. Nevada has just passed a bill that would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to set out guidelines for “autonomous vehicles” that use artificial intelligence to navigate roadways. This doesn’t mean that self-driving cars will be on the road soon, just that laws will be made regarding them as soon as March 2012. Since Google has been testing their driverless Toyota Prius’ since 2000, I think it’s about time we saw what they can really do.