Modern day car manufacturing is being ruled more and more by software technology. In today’s garages not only car mechanics are at work anymore, they are now often backed by tech mechanics. Software functions like Lane Keeping Assist and Autonomous Braking have little to do with traditional car engineering. Tech engineers specialize in automotive software and can optimize and repair semi-autonomous driving functions.
What exactly does the term semi-autonomous driving mean? Well, as we know, autonomous driving is when a vehicle can completely drive itself. That means there is no need for a passenger to touch the steering wheel, hit the brake or accelerate. Another name for autonomous vehicles are driverless vehicles. Above all, this term exclaims the fact that no human presence is even required.
From there the transition to semi-autonomous driving is easy. The vehicle is able to fully drive itself in particular circumstances, though not always. Currently there are some situations in which new mass-production cars are able to drive autonomously.
First and foremost, there’s dense traffic. Dense traffic can occur when driving in a city centre or traffic jam. In those situations, cars follow the car in front and traffic speed is low. Most basic semi-autonomous cars have an autonomous braking function that operates up to a certain speed. When the vehicle features front and side sensors or a camera, it can follow the car in front and monitor lane markings on the road. That way, the car can steer by itself lightly to remain in the lane, follow the car in front and brake and accelerate if necessary. Perfect for traffic jams, which can sometimes take hours and can cause difficulty for drivers to stay alert.
More advanced semi-autonomous vehicles can even ride autonomously on highways with little traffic. Volvo‘s Pilot Assist accelerates, brakes and steers to speeds of up to 130 kph.
Then there are parking assist features, which can steer the car into a parking space. The driver only needs to shift and accelerate.
All in all, one can imagine that properly functioning semi-autonomous features increase traffic safety enormously. Autonomous Braking helps prevent small damages, yet working with Pedestrian Detection can also save lives. Lane Keep Assist can prevent dangerous situations on highways and even full-frontal collisions. Finally, the latest night vision features can increase your own safety by recognizing people and large animals from far distances.