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This is similar to what other high-end cars have, lane-keeping and smart cruise control, usable only in freeway-type situations. "Drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel." Mercedes calls this "Active Lane Keeping Assist", and has offered it for several years now. Here's someone using it with a can taped to the steering wheel to defeat the "hands on steering wheel" requirement.[1] All the major manufacturers have demoed this.

This is NTSB level 2 automation, (Combined Function Automation).[2] ("An example ... is adaptive cruise control in combination with lane centering.") Google is at level 3 (Limited Self-Driving Automation), and going for level 4 (Full Self-Driving Automation).

The big problem at Level 2 is keeping drivers from using it when they shouldn't. Level 2 doesn't understand intersections at all, for example. Or pedestrians, bicycles, baby carriages, deer, snow, etc. That's why the major manufacturers are being so cautious about launching it into a world of driving idiots.

Volvo has now officially taken the position that if an autonomous car of theirs gets into a crash, it's Volvo's fault and they will accept liability.[3] Now that Volvo has said that, other car manufacturers will probably have to commit to that as well.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv9JYqhFV-M [2] http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/U.S.+Departm... [3] http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/215832-volvo-well-take-th...




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