Luxury carmakers like Cadillac and Mercedes have already started integrating new autonomous sensing technologies into new high-end models. They offer "adaptive cruise control" which allows drivers to set the distance between cars on the freeway and then slow down automatically if another car gets too close. If another driver cuts you off, for example, sensors slow your car. GM has also built in special ultrasonic radar to check for blind spots while backing up or changing lanes.
"We are on a path to develop a fully autonomous vehicle," said Nady Boules, director of electronics and controls at GM's research and development lab. "We are marching toward that goal steadily."
This summer, nearly 3,000 Michiganders will get first crack at a new "vehicle to vehicle" or V2V system that will allow cars and trucks to talk to each other electronically to avoid accidents, according to the Associated Press. The vehicles will share data about their location, direction and speed with other cars within 1,000 feet, while a computer analyzes the information and issues danger warnings.The program is being run by a consortium of eight domestic and foreign automakers. In addition to V2V, a so-called vehicle-to-infrastructure system (V2I) will allow cars to find out about traffic congestion ahead, or the location of open parking spaces in a sprawling lot.