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Drone Cars

Future Tech: Your Car In 2015
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The US Air Force is increasingly relying on drones to carry out bombing and intelligent-gathering missions. From a control room at a base in the United States, a drone pilot can guide a plane on missions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or other hotspots. Given the availability of know-how to fly drone planes on missions around the world, why can't remote-control drone cars that you control from the comfort of your living room be used to pickup groceries or make beer runs for you?

Unfortunately, a number of hurdles before unmanned cars and trucks will share the roads and streets with human-driven vehicles remain. The main impediment is legal, as it will be a long while before statutes and regulations in most countries catch up to the technology and make bot-driven automobiles street-legal.

However, robotically-controlled cars do, in fact, exist. While they are not on the streets and roads yet, some are already in use for tests. Volkswagen, for example, has a prototype version of its Golf GTI 53+1 that relies on hands-off, electronically-controlled steering for the development of future models. The main benefit is that electronically-controlled steering offers more precise and constant data compared to human drivers who invariably alter their steering patterns during tests. Even the world’s foremost professional drivers, for example, cannot turn the wheel with millimeter precision like bot drivers can for certain tests.

The tests are used to develop cars with improved steering dynamics in relation to the steering angle and torque generated during different driving situations. What this will likely mean is that you will eventually benefit from the same level of steering control, which today’s high-end BMW or Mercedes models offer, in cheaper models in just a few years time.

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