The emergence of motor vehicle AI found a new audience a the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas.
Known as the launch pad for the newest in audio and video technology and products, the future of vehicle intelligence gained widespread interest.
Major automakers are not only accepting a future of self-driving cars, but embracing the technology. Currently on the scene is smart technology that features parking assist, collision avoidance, emergency braking and yes, automated driving.
Dieter Zetsche, chair of Daimler AG, announced Mercedes’s fully autonomous prototype vehicle. Dr. Zetsche said future hands-free vehicles are luxury carriages that provide a peaceful, relaxing “oasis” for drivers. As envisioned, they feature a universal control panel that any driver can use.
CES, presented by the Consumer Technology Association, has served as the proving ground for breakthrough technologies for almost 50 years.
Raj Nair, head of global products at Ford, said CES he expects to see a fully automated car within five years. Preliminary advancements include HD mapping and a full host of sensors to pave the way for such automated machines.
This year’s International CES displayed an almost relentless focus on making cars smarter and more connected. Ten automakers were exhibiting or presenting at the show in some way, including Audi, Volkswagen, Toyota, General Motors and BMW.
Consumer company LG Electronics is working on methods to connect devices like phones, tablets, etc. to cars in a seamless way. Society is demanding that our cars be connected to our devices and LG is responding to that need.
AT&T announced at the show they’re partnering with Samsun in its Drive Studio, a sort of connected-car development laboratory.
BMW demonstrated who cars can park themselves when instructed by using a smart watch app.
Introducing self-driving cars is one thing. Convincing the driving public is another.
Kanetix.ca released findings of a survey on Canadians’ attitudes towards driverless cars.
“With companies like Google and major auto manufacturers obtaining permits to test autonomous technologies, these vehicles could be a reality in the next few years,” said Andrew Lo, chief marketing officer at at Kanetix.ca. “While it is fun to imagine the possibilities these innovations present, we wanted to find out from Canadian consumers how they truly felt about the possibility of sharing the road with self-driving cars.”
The survey finds that Canadians are evenly split on their desire for a driverless car. One in four cannot wait for the day that driverless cars will be available, and almost as many say no thanks, they love driving too much.
The majority of Canadians are more tentative, with 52 per cent saying it would depend on the technology and how well it works before they would make a decision.
In terms of geography, western Canadians are the least likely to want the driverless car with Quebec and Ontario being the most enthusiastic.
There are also differences among age and gender. Almost twice as many males as females want driverless cars, and the younger demographic, age 18 to 34, are the most excited.
An overwhelming majority of Canadians say driverless cars will be safer. Fifty-one per cent believe there will be fewer accidents, and 61 per cent think the elimination of risks like speeding and drunk driving will be the among the best outcomes of driverless vehicles. Only time will tell if these benefits will come to fruition, and what, if any impact, they’ll have on car insurance rates in Canada.
Other benefits include a more enjoyable and relaxing drive (39%), less stress (35%), and not worrying about parking (22%). Nineteen per cent think a driverless car is just “plain cool.”
It is not surprising that in Ontario, with some of the busiest and longest commuting times in the country, a less stressful commute was considered one of the top benefits of a driverless car.
Most people would agree that a positive feature of driverless cars is that the dreaded parallel parking would be a thing of the past.
Visit Kanetix.ca for more survey results and an infographic that illustrates the key findings.
Written by Mark Pavilons