Driver assistance systems could be the cornerstone to full autonomous vehicles image

As more and more automakers introduce lots of driver assistance systems and regulations make them mandatory, the auto industry could very well be approaching a high-tech era of accident-free driving.

New regulations in Europe from 2014 could make mandatory for vehicles to be equipped with advanced driver assistance systems like lane departure and forward collision warning systems, being standard making it the only way towards a top safety rating. That’s a good way to drive interest and development on further new driver-assist technologies that would ultimately have a pivotal role in cutting down the accidents due to driver error, according to predictions from industry leaders.

The new rules, in turn, are bringing the age of fully automated driving ever closer, said Steffen Linkenbach, Continental AG director of engineering systems and technology, as the German supplier is pushing to become a leader in the fast-emerging field.

“We have a clear vision of accident-free driving,” said Steffen Linkenbach, Continental AG director of engineering systems and technology. “We supply all the automakers,” he added.

Continental, one of the biggest players when it comes to auto safety technology, has already delivered 4.5 million sensors that go into the latest driver-assist systems, and the total is expected to jump to 10 million by 2015.

Continental’s Likenbach stressed that when it comes to its autonomous project, a lot of research and development work is still needed before fully automated driving becomes a reality, even on stretches of roadways that feature virtually no bends.