Cars With Self-Driving Features You Need To Know


Self-Driving Features – Autopilot was synonymous with aircraft and this has been in existence for decades in the aircraft industry. This feature enables the pilots to reduce their cognitive load by allowing the aircraft to practically fly itself during “cruising” portions of the trip. Thanks to modern-day technology as this is now happening in the automobile industry as cars with autopilot are rapidly turning into more autonomous, self-driving vehicles, allowing drivers to let the cars drive themselves on certain portions of the trip, like freeways. Before now we had just a few car brands with the autopilot feature but clearly, this feature has now come to stay as many automakers now embrace this lovely innovative feature as part of their driving assistance option packages. Below are a few cars brands with autopilot features.

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When it comes to Car autopilot, it’s not debatable who leads the train as Tesla has long been using the autopilot functionality in their cars, even calling their system ‘Autopilot’. Not only is their system one of the most sophisticated and accurate on the road, but it’s also continually updated over the air (just like your smartphone), so the vehicles just keep getting better and better. The biggest downside is that driver monitoring only uses steering wheel inputs to determine whether the driver is paying attention vs facial monitoring, for example.

Tesla uses eight cameras around the vehicle for a full 360 view, plus front-facing radar and long-range ultrasonic sensors. It uses a powerful machine learning computer (called the Full Self-Driving Computer, aka Hardware 3) which began rolling out in early 2019. All current Tesla vehicles (the Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3) all support Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features as an option, AP2 and above. Older Tesla models (pre-2016) with AP1 have an older version of Autopilot that doesn’t have all the current features.

The German-based BMW has long had adaptive cruise control with rudimentary lane-centering but starting with certain 2019 models, they rolled out new technology. The system is not updated over the air and must be taken to the dealer for updates. For autopilot functionality, BMW utilizes the Mobileye EyeQ platform in the Driving Assistant package with control software from ZF and on the newest models, the EyeQ 4 chip with a tri-focal camera set looking forward. It also has forward and rear radar sensors. With some options, it also includes an eye monitoring camera.

Another successful story of autopiloting comes from ford as it offers basic driver assistance with many of its current vehicles like the Ford Explorer, called Co-Pilot 360, which includes basic stop-and-go Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with basic Automatic Lane Centering (ALC) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA). The upcoming Ford Co-Pilot 360 2.0, now called “BlueCruise” coming in 2022 on the Mach-E and the Ford F-150. It’s expected to turn things around as it will feature more advanced, Tesla-like Autopilot capabilities.

2020 vehicles like the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator that include the Co-Pilot 360 options have today’s basic driver assistance. The newer Co-Pilot 360 2.0 with Active Driver Assist is making its way into the Mach-E and Ford F-150 and will have more robust Tesla Autopilot-like features.

Volvo has always been a leader in safety technology and was one of the first companies to bring advanced safety systems and lane centering to its full lineup of vehicles. They recently have had some self-driving setbacks as they’ve decided to switch platforms, delaying more sophisticated autopilot-like features.

Volvo currently leverages the Mobileye EyeQ 3 platform and has a front-facing camera and radar (Delphi’s RaCAM Radar and Camera Sensor Fusion System, which sits on the windshield). Volvo plans to switch from Mobileye to the NVIDIA Orin chipset and incorporate front-facing Luminar LiDAR as well with the help of Zenseact on the software side between 2022 and 2023.

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Self-Driving Features – Mercedes helped pioneer adaptive cruise control in the late 1990s with its high-end S-class sedan. As a luxury car provider, Mercedes has continually ensured that its vehicles have the latest technology available but has been a bit behind lately in advancing autopilot features. Mercedes works with Bosch and NVIDIA to power its systems via a combination of camera and radar inputs. Supported Models include E-Class and S-Class sedans

Basic Safety Features
With the autopilot in place, the need for safety measures cannot be overemphasized. Hence most if not all cars that come with autopilot-like features have fairly common automated safety systems included, called Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) within the industry. These core safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) to avoid a front-end collision if a large object is detected ahead, in addition to collision warnings. It also comes with Blind Spot Monitoring which alerts the driver if another car is in the blind spot. Lane Departure Warning is another very important safety feature. It alerts the driver if they are drifting out of the lane. These features are a “must-have” today and you should double-check to ensure they are included with your vehicle and package options.



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