Now this is what I've been talking about!!! There is no reason with our current technology that we shouldn't have limited self driving cars today. The only problem I have with Cruise is that they're mapping everything themselves, which is totally unnecessary. There are plenty of other companies that have already done that. Maybe Google wouldn't licence Google Maps to them since they're kind of competition for them, but what about Garmin or TomTom? They couldn't form a partnership with them (or buy them outright) to license their maps?
Cruise RP-1 can convert your ride into a self-driving car. Hello, Google
Google self-driving cars are still in the testing phase but start-up Cruise Automation can convert your car into a self-driving car.
Cruise's self-driving kit is called the RP-1, which has a price tag of $10,000. Kyle Vogt, co-founder and CEO of the company, says that the kit is a "highway autopilot." Once the RP-1 is installed in a car, drivers can go to a highway and to the lane they want the car to be in. With just a push of a button, the system takes control of the vehicle. Drivers have the option to take the control back with a push on the gas pedal or by just taking control of the car's steering wheel.
Vogt says that the RP-1 autopilot feature cannot work on any highway and is not a replacement for a driver. Roads where the RP-1 is to be used should be mapped first before the kit can run. The company says that it is planning to map freeways and share the data between the vehicles, which will allow it to create a large road data. Unlike, some self-driving cars in testing such as Google's, the Cruise RP-1 system is not meant to take a car from one location to another.
The Cruise RP-1 is made up of a number of components. The kit includes custom-designed sensors that are fixed to the top of a car; actuators for the steering wheel, brakes, and accelerator; and a computer system in the trunk of the car that processes all data. Users will find a button installed in the dashboard, which will allow drivers to switch between autopilot and human driving modes.
"In the trunk of your car you will find the Computer - the brain of the RP-1. Taking up less than two feet of space and mounted off to the side, the Computer calculates exactly what it needs to do to keep you and your loved ones safe using state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms," per Cruise.
Currently, the Cruise RP-1 can be installed only on two Audi models, a 2012 or newer Audi A4 or Audi S4. The company plans to offer the kit for other cars made by other automakers as well. The system can currently be used only in the state of California.
Customers have the option to reserve their RP-1, which will be initially limited to 50 units only. The company hopes to start shipment of the kit in 2015.
Self-driving cars are still in infancy but with the launch of Cruise RP-1, customers will be able to get a glimpse of what more could be on offer in the future.