Google’s driverless car dominates the headlines, but the reality is that it’s unlikely to be available any time soon and it’s certainly not going to be within your price range. But one startup is hoping, at least, to change the latter. Cruise Automation, based in San Francisco (where else?), is developing a car automation accessory that will retail for $10,000.
Kyle Vogt, the founder of the project, is hoping to start installing his “RP-1” invention onto cars early next year. It only currently works on an Audi A4 or S4, but Vogt is hoping to modify the device so it can be retrofitted on to any car. It works largely in the same way Google’s driverless car works in that it has multiple sensors that can scan the immediate area for routes and potential collisions.
Vogt describes his invention as a “highway pilot”. He essentially means that it will work as a driving aid, rather than a system to fully takeover driving responsibility. Users will be able to switch on the system by tapping a button on an inbuilt interface in the car, and then let system take over. The driver can regain control of the car by tapping on the brake pedal or by placing their hands on the steering wheel.
Incredibly, the project only began in November 2013. Vogt and his team have worked around the clock to make it into a reality and they plan to start installing it onto cars early next year.