Almost all large automobile companies all over the world are developing unmanned systems. However, manufacturers are in no hurry to introduce a full-fledged “autopilot” in production cars. First, this is due to the laws of most countries, which prohibit the use of systems above the second level of autonomy on public roads. In addition, errors in unmanned systems do occur.
However, a number of auxiliary systems that partially take control of the car can be found on production cars even today. It is still difficult to call them full-fledged autopilot, but they can make life easier for the driver in traffic jams and on highways. Autonews.ru decided to remember the most advanced ones.
ProPILOT Assist electronic assistant is installed on a number of Nissan and Infiniti models. This technology is a kind of prototype autonomous driving system, which includes advanced cruise control, a lane-keeping system, and a collision warning function. At the moment, the Japanese have developed an upgraded version of ProPILOT Assist, which debuted on the second-generation Infiniti QX60 crossover.
Artificial intelligence navigates through space and analyzes the data coming from a set of video cameras and sensors, as well as from the navigation system.
The Adaptive Cruise Control can maintain a set speed on a steep descent, slow down as it arrives at a curve or freeway exit, and slow down or speed up based on traffic sign detection. When driving in traffic, the electronics can automatically shut off the engine, then restart it and continue driving on its own after a complete stop for up to 30 seconds.
Tesla FSD Beta
Tesla has already started testing a new semi-automatic control system FSD Beta. Owners of American electric cars can take part in the experiment. However, they need to prove that they are good drivers.
Head of Tesla Elon Musk said not so long ago that the new system is so perfect that it can give motorists a false sense of security and complete autonomy of the electric car. At the moment, the functionality of the technology includes the recognition of road signs and traffic lights. The system can take control of the car, but the driver still needs to keep his hands on the steering wheel at all times. The technology can also park the electric car on its own.
However, at this point, it is already known about several large-scale failures in the work of this system. For example, in autumn Tesla was forced to stop testing an advanced version of the autopilot for a while. According to Elon Musk, this happened because of the discovered technical problems in the system. Later, the Americans managed to solve the problem.
Pilot Assist technology corresponds to the automation of the second level, like a similar system of Tesla. This means that the driver must keep his hands on the steering wheel at all times to take control in case of unforeseen circumstances. The Swedes themselves claimed that they could develop the third level of autonomy, but due to the impossibility of using such technology in a number of countries, they abandoned it for now.
Volvo equips its cars with the semi-autonomous driving system Pilot Assist, which can independently drive the car at speeds of up to 130 km/h. This technology first appeared on the S90 sedan in 2016. Since then, the system has been upgraded several times.
Pilot Assist technology corresponds to Level 2 automation, just like the similar Tesla system. This means that the driver has to keep his hands on the steering wheel at all times to take control in case of unforeseen circumstances. The Swedes themselves have claimed that they can develop a system and a third level of autonomy, but because of the impossibility of using such technology in a number of countries, it has so far been abandoned.
Cadillac’s vehicles are equipped with the Super Cruise autopilot. The system navigates using onboard cameras and sensors, as well as using GPS topographic data. When Super Cruise is activated, the driver is allowed to take their hands off the steering wheel on highways. The electronics control the steering, gas pedal, and braking system by themselves as the car moves. At the same time, the motorist has to keep his eyes on the road and be ready to take control at any moment.
However, last year it became known that several models of the American brand temporarily remained without the Super Cruise autopilot. Among them are the Escalade and sedan CT4. The reason for such a decision is the shortage of components, which almost all major automakers have faced.
EyeSight is the most advanced option in Subaru (including Russia). The technology combines a number of useful functions, such as adaptive cruise control, frontal collision warning system, and lane-keeping system. As a result, the car is able to maintain a set speed, recognize obstacles, brake, accelerate, and is also able to drive one distance to the car in front.
EyeSight is guided in space by a stereo camera with two lenses. The device is mounted at the upper edge of the car windshield and can distinguish other cars, and pedestrians, and follow the markings and signs. At the same time, the driver is obliged to keep his hands on the steering wheel. If not, the system will give warnings, and after a while will turn off.
Toyota has prepared the advanced driving assistant Advanced Drive for the clients. However, this system is available only for hydrogen sedan Mirai and hybrid Lexus LS. With the activation of the function, the car can independently regroup on the road, passing cars, hold the lane and maintain a safe distance. Of course, while doing so, the driver should not let go of the steering wheel and lose vigilance.
The technology can also apply emergency braking if there is a risk of an accident, and also constantly monitors the condition of the motorist himself. Advanced Drive equipment includes a special camera, ultrasonic sensors, and laser range finders.
Traffic Jam Pilot
Audi has the Traffic Jam Pilot system in its arsenal, which corresponds to the third level of autonomy according to the SAE classification. This means that a car with this technology can drive fully autonomously on expressways and multi-lane highways. At the same time, driving the car does not require constant human attention – the driver may not hold the steering wheel and not constantly look at the road.
It was expected that the first car of the German brand with a Traffic Jam Pilot system will be A8. However, legislation in a number of countries still prohibits the exit of cars with such technologies on public roads. As a result, this idea was abandoned for a while.