A popular topic that we like to keep up with is that of
self-driving vehicles. There are numerous manufacturers racing against the clock to release
the first self-driving cars to consumers. While the National Highway Safety
Administration has yet to release guidelines for these vehicles, they
are expected to provide those in July.
Companies such as Google, BMW, and Honda are just a few that may be competing
for buyers when that time comes. Each has been developing autonomous driving
automobile technologies that we hope will make U.S. roadways safer. The
idea is that by removing human error from the equation and introducing
more technological advancements, fewer crashes will occur. It may also
cut down on the number of drunk or distracted driving wrecks if the safety
claims are correct.
The first company believed to have started investigating and testing self-driving
vehicles is Google. The company’s autonomous vehicles have been
tested on roadways in certain states for years. Recently, Google agreed
to team up with Fiat Chrysler to develop self-driving minivans. This is
said to be the first instance in which Google has been willing to work
with an auto manufacturer directly. Google’s driving technology
will be installed on Pacifica model minivans and tested for safety.
Honda Motor Company previewed an autonomous prototype in late May in an
effort to alert consumers to their ability to compete with the many self-driving
models being developed by other manufacturers and brands. The first step
towards fully autonomous vehicles has been for Honda to implement partial-autonomous
functionality in multiple models. These features include lane-departure
and forward-collision warnings in Civics and Acuras. These steps are said
to have a purpose of prepping consumers for the next big thing: self-driving
BMW is another company that has dedicated an entire division to self-driving
vehicle development. The “i” division is dedicated to providing
a vehicle that not only drives itself, but is electric and safer for the
environment as well. The company is rumored to have plans of starting
a ride-hailing company if fully autonomous vehicles hit the roads. This
would provide much lower overhead due to not paying drivers.
At Jones & Swanson, we keep up with the latest automotive trends and
developments because they may one day affect
Georgia roadway safety. Whether for the better or worse, we like to know what possibilities lie ahead.