Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
Cruise Automation is a San Francisco start-up that wants to simplify your driving life in a cheaper way than Google's autonomous car set-up. RP-1 costs $10,000 and you can strap it onto your roof.
(Cruise RP-1 Highway Automation demonstration video)
As of Monday, Cruise is taking pre-orders for 50 units of its RP-1 product, and says it will start installing them in cars early next year. One caveat: the system only works on Audi A4 and S4 vehicles, but Cruise is working towards making its technology compatible with other car manufacturers too.
Vogt refers to his product as a “highway autopilot.” To work, drivers take their car onto the highway and onto the lane they want to be in, then they push a button for the system to take control of the accelerator and brake pedals, along with the steering. Drivers can then turn the system off in several different ways, including by tapping the gas pedal or by taking control of the steering wheel.
Robert Heinlein had highway automation in mind when he described his autonomous Camden speedster car in his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children:
The car slid up the ramp, waited until the traffic control signaled a predicted break in traffic, then joined the high-speed northbound stream. Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...
She woke just before the signal from the car which would have called her... She signaled the traffic control ahead; it cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car, then rang the alarm which notified her to resume local control...
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