--
 
Top new models for SA

From Renault's new Alaskan bakkie to the latest models at the Frankfurt motor show bound for SA.

Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Self-driving cars: Welcome to the future

2017-10-05 12:19

Image: Wheels24

Ntlhe Mahlatsi / DRUM Digital

Johannesburg - The other day while watching TV, I saw an ad where they showed a car driving itself, which made me wonder, how far are we from that becoming a reality?

Self-driving cars sounds like something from a movie, but it’s actually much closer than we think. The correct term for it is autonomous driving, but it essentially means a driverless car. It’s a major buzzword in motoring circles at the moment as many car manufacturers are including it in their offerings and the reality of how far along the technology is will truly push the boundaries of your imagination.

The concept has been with us for longer than you would think though. It’s actually considered autonomous driving when you switch on cruise control, remove your foot from the accelerator and let your car maintain speed by itself. The point at which advances in technology lead from this to a car that parks on its own or can semi drive itself is just a step further.

I recently got to test drive the Volvo V40, which comes with a feature called lane assist. How it works is, when you’re travelling over a certain speed it will warn you the moment you unintentionally veer into another lane.

Image: Wheels24

What surprised me was that when my mind wondered and I began to move out of my lane the car gently corrected course and steered itself back into the middle of my lane. This is how some vehicles are using the technology to make your diving experience safer for you and your passengers. 

But every major innovation comes with a level of reservation. Would an autonomous car easily crash into another car? What’s the likelihood of a cyber hijacking? Questions for the future it seems. Autonomous driving innovation isn’t that advanced yet. At present there aren’t any fully autonomous cars on the road – most can only drive themselves for a short distance before they need a flesh-and-blood driver to take the wheel.

I’m excited to see what the future holds in the world of autonomous driving. Who knows? Someday we’ll probably be able to travel in cars and not worry about the manual labour of actually operating one.

By Ntlhe Mahlatsi (@Ntlheezee)

NEXT ON WHEELS24X
Read more on:    volvo  |  south africa  |  new models

Inside Wheels24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.