Offbeat

Awesome Autonomous Autos

Don't blame the driver as these autonomous autos may turn out to be the wave of the future.

Why bother steering or accelerating when these cars will just do it for you. The age of the autonomous auto is coming faster than you think. Sure, you may have heard about Google's driverless Prius, but did you know that Mercedes is releasing a semi-autonomous car next year? Didn't think so. Is this technology the wave of the future or a limited time technological fascination? If you want a quick walkthrough of some of the most ground-breaking and soon-to-be-groundbreaking autonomous autos, then read on.

Google's autonomous Prius brought the idea of a driverless car from concept to reality. Google's autonomous auto has been all around the U.S. logging some 190,000 miles on freeways, residential roads and in city traffic. Google says that the driverless tech is a long way away from being commercially viable, but it is already starting to appear in some cars in a limited form.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is one such car that is spitting in the face of the future by bringing autonomous driving to people now. The 2013 S-Class won't exactly drive you to and from work while you sleep, but it will negotiate bumper-to-bumper traffic for you so long as the speed doesn't exceed 25 mph. The 2013 S-Class is able to accomplish all of this using a series of cameras and an advanced radar monitoring system.

The autonomous Audi TTS may very well be the coolest driverless car ever created. The autonomous Audi was created by Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab and Stanford University. The Audi TTS proved that it belonged alongside (or at least near) its human-driven counterparts when it participated in the Pike's Peak International Hill Climb back in 2010. Using an advanced set of algorithms, software and hardware the autonomous Audi was able to make the climb in 27 minutes.

Volkswagen decided to follow up on the totally awesome autonomous Audi TTS with the self-driving eT! concept. The eT! is a driverless delivery van designed to make life easier for mail carriers. What makes the eT! awesome is the fact that it's designed to drive itself and respond to voice commands such as "follow me" and "come here."

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