Sparking the Driverless Car Era

We’ve been hearing about the new generation of vehicles for some time now. The self-driving, autonomous, electric car seemed to be so distant that it transformed into a pipe dream—until now. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced this past week that Tesla’s self-driving cars will hit highways this summer.

On Thursday March 18, Musk arranged a press conference to talk about Tesla’s automobile software update that will eliminate range anxiety—or the fear that your electric car will run out of power before being able to recharge on long trips.

But that wasn’t the highlight of the press conference. Musk casually announced that beginning around June, all Tesla models well get an update that allows them to drive in “Autopilot” mode.

This from Mashable:

The enigmatic, soft-spoken CEO didn’t offer many details, but it seems Autopilot will be disabled when you’re not doing freeway driving, which is by far the easiest aspect of autonomous vehicle activity. Musk did confirm that the Autopilot mode would be “technically capable of driving from parking lot to parking lot.” The car will also be allowed to drive itself when you summon it, and when you’re parking it in your garage.

Read the full article here.

And Google’s driverless car is not too far off, either. While it will not hit the roads as fast as Tesla, Google currently has hundreds of vehicle prototypes on roads in California and Nevada.

While the driverless, environmentally friendly car may be a showroom luxury at first, it shouldn’t be long until these cars transition to the norm.

Our scientists are also looking for new ways to eliminate range anxiety in electric cars. Check out the most recent papers on electric vehicles in our Digital Library.

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