Though everyone was amazed at the DARPA Challenge when several vehicles navigated their way though a very difficult off road course, progress marches on and Volkswagen just demonstrated a Golf GTi equipped with a self driving mechanism that was very impressive.
This Golf can self drive, accelerate, steer and brake through a pylon course at speeds right up to its maximum of 150mph! A system of radar and laser sensors “see” the road and send the information to the computer that drives the car. It was actually faster on a race course than human drivers. Guests on hand at the demonstration were asked to set up a pylon course of their own to prove the car was actually driving by what it sees.
Collision avoidance systems are already available on producton cars and with this level of capability being shown at the engineering stage, it will be interesting to see how long it takes before something like this becomes available for sale.
Would you want one? It’s interesting to speculate about who would be first in line, my guess is the military. Fascinating technology.