BOSTON — Level 5 — or fully autonomous — vehicles are probably years away from going on sale. But currently, many automakers are already rolling out a variety of semi-autonomous advanced safety features.
We took a look at all the displays at the 2017 New England International Automotive Show in Boston to find out some of the most-common ways manufacturers are introducing autonomous technology to their vehicle lineups.
Autonomous cruise control
Or “adaptive cruise control,” as Ford calls it. Using radars to maintain a safe distance between vehicles while in cruise control, this technology is becoming more common throughout the industry, and is available in all of Ford’s 2017 models.
“That’s the direction (fully autonomous) that we’re going,” Marc Rogowski, regional sales manager for Ford New England, told NESN Fuel. “We have to do all this stuff to be competitive.”
Lane departure systems
This feature was everywhere at the NEIAS. If the vehicle senses you’re exiting your lane without using a blinker, it warns you — usually with a blinking light and/or chime. The technology is common throughout the 2017 market, available in just about every make and model, including Toyota’s entire 2017 lineup.
Once a feature available almost solely on the premier market, vehicles that can park themselves — or at least assist you in the process — are becoming more prevalent. For example, Toyota and Ford’s entire 2017 lineups, and the 2017 Chevrolet Impala and Tahoe include some form of the technology.
“Fully autonomous isn’t there yet,” a Chevrolet product spokesperson told NESN Fuel.” So you have to hint it to them (consumers).”
Collision prevention / Pedestrian warning
Fully developed versions of these technologies will be cornerstones of future Level 5 autonomous vehicles. But right now, features that adjust speed to reduce the likelihood of a collision can be found throughout the automotive industry.
Thumbnail photo via Ford