Are Autonomous Cars the end of Cruise Control?

As auto manufacturers continue to develop technology that helps drivers, such as cruise control, we can expect more advances to be made in the next couple of years. We have already heard about Google’s driverless cars that are being tested in California. Audi has also been developing technology that will take over a car’s steering under certain conditions.

A recent article in Forbes described how GM is also developing and testing the technology that will aid drivers, however it is not calling it autonomous driving. By 2017, GM’s luxury line of vehicles will be equipped with ‘Super Cruise’ technology, which can take control of the vehicle for a prolonged period of time.

GM’s super cruise technology is similar to Audi’s cruise automation and won’t completely take over steering, accelerating and braking of the vehicle. However, under certain circumstances, such as driving on the freeway, the driver is able to turn it on like cruise control, sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Teaching Cars to Drive Themselves

Cars that drive themselves seemed like a futuristic thing just a few years ago but tech giants, like Google, and auto manufacturers, like Audi, are beginning to develop them. Google’s driverless cars don’t even have steering wheels, any accelerator or brake pedals. All it needs are two buttons – one to turn on and one for emergency. Similarly, Audi has been developing a program that will allow cars to drive themselves.

An article in The Verge explains how Audi is making this possible. Although the program won’t allow you to snooze while driving, it can take over the steering while on the freeway. This program, called Cruise Automation, can be turned on like you would cruise control and it will steer, brake, and avoid objects. Unlike Google’s car, Cruise doesn’t replace the driver. It’s meant to exist somewhere in between driverless cars and cruise control as we know it.

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