In the movie Back to the Future Part II, Michael J. Fox heads into 2015 where there are hover boards, automatic shoe fasteners, and interactive advertisements for movies. While some items from this movie have come to fruition such as the Cubs winning a World Series and a prototype for a hover board released, we are all still patiently waiting for the day when cars fly.
While flying cars may still be a way off dream, autonomous cars or self-driving vehicles may not be so far-fetched. I have been saying it for years that I believe the various aspects of a driverless car are being tested to ensure they are perfected before combining them into one vehicle. Think about the park assist that some cars have, or the lane assist, emergency stopping and collision detection, and even blind spot detection. All of these “smart car” options are only steps to the ultimate goal of a fully automated vehicle.
What I didn’t think about on our journey to automization, though, was how vehicles were going to be able to one day coordinate with each other. If all cars become autonomous, there would surely need to be a way for them to see or talk to each other in order to plan a route with ease. Detection once close to another vehicle would be too late for correcting a potentially traffic-y route, so knowing where other cars are heading could alleviate that if they were able to communicate. Well, according to Volkswagen, as early as 2019, pWLAN (Public Wireless LAN) technology which will allow vehicles to talk to one another wirelessly and within a certain distance range for such coordination purposes will be standard on their vehicles.
SAY WHAT? Just another piece in the puzzle toward autonomous cars!