With motor vehicle deaths on the rise, the need for a viable solution is more important than ever. According to the NHTSA, 94 percent of the over 35 thousand traffic deaths in 2015 were caused by human error. Automakers have for years been integrating driver assistance systems to increase the driver’s awareness of potential dangers and even take proactive measures to avoid a collision. Some of the early driver assistance systems include automatic lighting, adaptive cruise control, lane correction and blind spot notifications.
This continued advancement in driver assistance innovations has combined to bring us into the age of autopilot. In this article you are going to discover exactly how autopilot in automobiles works.
Autopilot is the culmination of the advanced driver assistance systems that result in a tighter feedback loop between the automobile and its driver, not to be confused with fully autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars. Although we have not reached a point where drivers can ignore the road entirely, our automobiles are increasing the efficiency of the driver’s attention to the road. Some automakers are innovating more quickly towards the goal of autonomous vehicles, such as Tesla with their software-centric models, allowing updates to immediately improve functionality. For example, upon the release of Tesla version 7.0, over 60,000 vehicles equipped with the necessary hardware were updated to include autopilot features.
With nearly every aspect of our lives being enhanced technologically, we are becoming surrounded by more distraction than ever. Distracted driving has been on the rise and is likely associated with the growth in smartphone ownership. According to the NHTSA, the percentage of visible manipulation of handheld devices while driving increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014. Autopilot features will likely enable drivers to safely use their smartphones and other devices while driving, without threatening their lives and the lives of neighboring motorists.
We are as excited as you to see what current and future automakers develop in pursuit of a fully autonomous vehicle, but we are equally as excited by the progress of driver assistance systems, or autopilot driving.