Schulmeyer sees three distinct stages ahead for autonomous safety systems: First, radar will be proven out on adaptive cruise controls; next will come more-active safety systems, such as emergency brakes that apply maximum braking to minimize damage when an "inevitable collision" is detected; and finally, full collision-avoidance systems will steer around upcoming obstacles to prevent collisions from ever happening.
why don't cars drive themselves already? One reason is that vehicles need to be able to "drive by wire," meaning that all mechanical linkages, from accelerator to transmission to brakes and steering, have to be controlled by computer-activated electric servos. The previous article describes the move to brake by wire starting in 2010.
If you could switch on the self-driving mode, he said, "you could become more productive--you could read or sleep or answer your e-mail, or even watch a movie." And such a car could keep the elderly, who might otherwise have to give up their driver's licenses, independent longer. Plus lives could be saved, 44000 traffic deaths in the USA each year and 1.2 million each year for the world. Most accidents are at intersections.