On Monday, January 7th, at the 2013 International CES electronics show, Volkswagen and Audi unveiled futuristic cars with autonomous driving features.
According to VW the autonomous driving features were designed to help drivers avoid crashes and also take over driving at times, in the more mundane aspects of driving, such as parking. Of course none of the cars is going so far as Google’s self-driving vehicles. Audi of America showed off a self-parking feature at the electronics show, but the company said it can’t imagine the time when cars will be self-driven and drivers won’t have to pay attention anymore.
“Audi envisions motorists enjoying the convenience of allowing the car to handle mundane stop-and-go driving conditions, for example, while still being able to take control of the car when needed,” the company said. “In this way, the technology is similar to auto-pilot systems found on jetliners.”
Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford research and innovation, also said he cannot imagine the self-driving vehicles eliminating the need of drivers, but he sees the necessity of improving and expanding the automated driving functionality, such as lane keeping, adaptive cruise control and self parking.