Low-cost self-driving cars expected by 2016

May 28, 2013

An Audi A7 outfitted with a self-driving system that uses cameras built into the front, back and sides of the vehicle to detect other vehicles, pedestrians, traffic signs and a range of other roadway information (credit: Mobileye)

Mobileye Vision Technologies has created a self-driving system for an Audi A7 car, John Markoff writes in The New York Times.

It is capable only of driving in a single lane at freeway speeds, as well as identifying traffic lights and automatically slowing, stopping and then returning to highway speeds.

But by blending advanced computer-vision techniques with low-cost video cameras, the company is demonstrating how quickly autonomous driving can be commercialized without the expense of laser range-finders called lidars and other advanced systems.

By this summer, the first limited Mobileye systems offering a feature known as “traffic jam assist” will begin arriving from more than five major automobile makers. Those cars will drive safely in stop-and-go traffic, but will require that drivers keep their hands on the steering wheel.

But more advanced systems will be introduced as early as 2016, according to Mobileye.