Self-driving cars nearer to reality as further companies join the drive

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/Geber86)

Autonomous cars were once the subject of futuristic movies, but are now closer to reality than ever with Samsung being the latest manufacturer focusing on self-driving car technologies.

The company has created a new division that will focus on building self-driving car components, though hasn’t yet revealed much more about its plans. Hyundai, meanwhile, has revealed that it is also considering developing its own range of chips and sensors to allow for autonomous driving.

Apple is working hard on its first electric car but has admitted that a self-driving, fully autonomous car is also part of its long-term plans. In September, Apple reportedly tripled the original 600 person team involved in the project for a potential launch date of 2019.

Google says it will launch its first driverless car by 2020 – although details remain scarce.

And yet all of these are likely to be beaten by Chinese search titan Baidu, which claims that it has already created China’s first fully self-driving car with speeds of up to 100kph achieved in testing.

The cars are modified BMW 3 Series which use laser radars, sensors, and cameras in combination with the mapping and deep-learning software of Baidu. However, rather than being aimed at private consumers, the Baidu self-driving car will be aimed at the public market with the company working with governments to provide such vehicles as a shared vehicle service – like a shuttle service – something it aims to deliver within three years.

Do you think a driverless car will be on the market before the end of this decade? Let us know in the comments.

Leave a comment


This will only be used to quickly provide signup information and will not allow us to post to your account or appear on your timeline.