Hyundai arranged a demonstration of its autonomous cars on a test track in California. It’s quite an impressive sight, watching the cars follow each other with the precision that only electronic computer systems can provide. To drive the point home, Hyundai had four of the five drivers of the new semi-autonomous 2015 Hyundai Genesis disembark while the cars were still in motion, leaving one driver to lead a convoy of four empty cars around the test track. Then, they slammed on the brakes.
Autonomous cars are all the rage these days, though there is some confusion about the term. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there are four levels of automated cars. Level One is no electronic aids at all, or your standard automobile. Level Two adds some simple features like anti-lock brakes and blind spot warnings, while Level Three features adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking and lane departure systems and assisted parallel parking. Level Four transfers all the control of the car to on board electronics and gets you from Point A to Point B with no human intervention.
The 2015 Hyundai Genesis is ranked as a Level Three autonomous car, and includes features like Lane Keep Assist, Auto Emergency Braking, and Advanced Smart Cruise Control, which allows the Genesis to keep pace with the car in front. So while it can’t drive you from one place to the next without some interaction, the system does allow you to pay less attention to the road while crusing down the highway.
As if that’s something the world really needs.
Then again, the potential offered by autonomous cars was clearly showcased in the new Google Car, which will zip people to their destinations without any interaction whatsoever. The commute of tomorrow could be free of traffic jams and even driving, allowing passengers to catch up on work or the latest episode of Game of Thrones. So if you see someone driving the new Hyundai Genesis without their hands on the wheel, don’t freak out.