Driverless Cars Make a Big Showing in Vegas

The Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas might not be the first place you’d think to look for the latest auto models, but this year a record eight automakers are attending the event.

As the worlds of high-tech electronics and auto manufacturing collide, car makers are seeking to show off their offerings at venues like the CES more and more, and this year the buzz is around driverless cars.

After the launch of Google’s self-driving car last year, there’s been renewed interest among auto manufacturers and high-tech companies alike.

Toyota and Audi are both showing their driverless car concepts at CES. Toyota’s focus is around safety, and its Active Safety Research Vehicle—a Lexus LS Sedan—uses cameras, radars and sensors to help drivers make better decisions.

Similar technology has already been tested by Volvo, which has put cameras on its windshields to detect sudden stops of vehicles ahead, automatically triggering the brakes. The “city safety” feature has lowered collision rates significantly according to Volvo.

While Toyota and Volvo are focused on safety, Audi aims to relieve the stressful commute with hands- and feet-free controls which allow a driver to relax for a few moments while sitting in traffic – kind of like luxury cruise control.

The automated car may seem futuristic to some, but it’s not all that far off. Audi began testing its auto-piloted car on the highways of Nevada this week, and it’s already legal to drive Google’s car—adapted from a Toyota Prius—in California, Florida, and Nevada.

What do you think about the driverless concept? Would you be comfortable giving up control to an automated vehicle?

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