Continental has been working on automated driving systems for some time now, and began open road trials of this technology early last year. It also entered into a research partnership with BMW to develop an ‘electronic co-pilot’ in January 2013. The German firm is now extending its collaborative activities; the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper shared on Aug. 21 that Continental intends to develop self-driving cars together with IBM and Google.
Continental has previously voiced its expectation that vehicle automation will arrive in stages, starting with partially automated driving from 2016, high levels of automation from 2020 and – ultimately – fully automated systems from 2025. Google began conducting road tests of its driverless car at the start of 2012, taking advantage – as Continental has – of a law change in the US state of Nevada that enables autonomous cars to drive on public roads. Project leader claims the car can reduce road accidents by 90%, reduce wasted commute time and energy by 90%, and reduce the number of cars on the road by 90%. The third figure would admittedly involve car sharing, a setup that sounds better in theory than in practice.
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