Driverless cars are heading to Nevada: Continental Automotive Group, a subsidiary of the German automotive technology supplier, revealed last week that it has started test driving a modified Volkswagen Passat on Nevada’s streets (both city roads and highways). The Passat has been equipped with Continental’s technology for highly automated driving. It has driven more than 6000 miles on city streets and highways, 90% in autonomous mode. Once it passes the state-required 10 000 mile minimum test-drive limit, the car could become one of the first to receive an autonomous car license in the Silver State.
(Image source: Continental)
In contrast to the Google car, the Passat is not intended for autonomous operation at all times. It is a test bed for for Continental’s automated highway and traffic jam technology which can alleviate the human driver from boring driving situations. The close-to-production technology is also much cheaper than Google’s driverless car technology because it does not involve a costly LIDAR sensor.
With Continental another major player has publicly entered the race for driverless car technology. Whereas car makers are still dragging their feet on the technology because of doubts about cannibalizing their product lines, the business case is much more favorable for automotive technology suppliers. Delphi, Valeo and the likes will not be far behind…