Some of the biggest tech buzz-phrases of the year have included “wearable’s”, “augmented/ virtual reality”, and the very exciting “driverless car.” Each buzz-phrase has industry leaders of their own sector but who will win the driverless car race?
Google was the first to start the driverless car conversation. We actually remember seeing driverless cars being tested in our area of Virginia. They got the buzz started a few years ago, and everyone thought they would dominate. With Google’s market cap reaching a whopping $382 Billion, no one was surprised to hear they were working on such a futuristic project. Last December, Google unveiled a fully functional prototype of their robotic cars (above). They have a Velodyne 64-beam laser range finder mounted on the top of the vehicle allowing it to generate a 3D map of the environment. Google plans to partner with a real car maker to bring self-driving vehicles to market in the next five years.
Last week, Mercedes-Benz made a splash on the self-driving car forums. Pictures and video’s of the futuristic luxury car hit the internet and made everyone favorite and retweet. What’s cool about the driverless Mercedes is that the seats swivel to face backwards. Mercedes doesn’t even want you to have to look in the direction that the car is going. The team of futurists built this sci-fi car to reflect what driving will be like in 2030. The luxury car company is trying to show that cars may be their “thing”, but they definitely have the tech know-how to succeed in the future, in style. Dozens of journalists were invited to ride in the electric prototype, the F 015. The video that surfaced show a sleek and metallic design and the car itself used a smart phone app to start. Super cool.
What makes Tesla special is that they were the world’s first fully electric sports car. With lithium-ion battery packs, Tesla is able to have the lowest rates to sell electric car batteries without jeopardizing their “cool” image. From the Tesla Roadster 2.5 (2006) to the Tesla Model X (2014), the company has kept stockholders and car-lovers everywhere on their toes. This past week, Elon Musk called a press conference to tackle the subject of “range anxiety”- many fear that electric cars will run out of power before it reaches the next charging station on a long road trip. Musk gave Tesla fans a new reason to love the company. Probably around June, all Tesla vehicles will get an over-the-air update, allowing them to drive in Autopilot mode. What a game changer. The coolest electric car company has just entered the driverless car race, and it’s happening this summer.
Who do you think is in the lead for the Driverless Car race? What matters most to you - an irrefutable reputation for 3D coverage like Google, an unbelievable design like Mercedes, or an ever-evolving feature list like Tesla? Tell us what you think!
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