Advances have been being made on self-driving cars for quite some time now, and they’ve taken hold of many peoples’ imaginations. Self-driving cars open up a world of possibilities, from driverless deliveries to being able to work while on the road. This week, more news has been released about some companies’ plans for their own self-driving vehicles.
A new version of an autonomous car from Toyota Research Institute has just been unveiled, according to The Verge. Toyota’s latest test vehicle is called Platform 3.0, and it’s a Lexus with sensors and cameras.
What’s getting people excited is Platform 3.0’s range of vision. Its sensors can see 360-degrees around it, and most importantly, they can see up to 200 meters (or about 656 feet). TechCrunch reports that the vehicle has a weather- and temperature-proof roof panel, as well as a trunk (which was not in previous versions). It’s going on to be displayed at CES, a gathering for “innovators and breakthrough technologies” from the Consumer Technology Association, according to CES’ website. The plan is to start production of Platform 3.0 this spring.
Meanwhile, Aurora Innovations, a company started by an engineer who previously worked with Google on their self-driving cars, is in the news. The Verge is reporting that Volkswagen Group and Hyundai are now partnering with Aurora Innovations in a step toward creating autonomous cars.
VW and Hyundai plan to vehicles available in different cities. Hyundai will use Aurora Innovations’ tech in one of their SUVs, according to CNN Money. VW, meanwhile, wants to use the tech in a number of vehicles and use the vehicles for ride-sharing. Both of them also currently plan to release their vehicles commercially in 2021, just a few years from now.
These fully driverless vehicles may not be here yet, but it’s still exciting to know they’re getting closer. Of course, there will be limited production and very high costs. But the advances in technology and current plans for more self-driving cars are a good sign of what’s to come.