Self-Driving Cars Becoming Reality

On the same day that Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche introduced Mercedes' self-driving concept car -- the F015 Luxury in Motion -- to attendees at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), another autonomous vehicle from Audi, dubbed "Jack," drove into Las Vegas after completing a 560-mile trip from California's Silicon Valley.

While Jack is also, for now, only a concept car, executives from Daimler, Audi and other auto companies at CES are voicing a common belief: self-driving cars are no longer that far away from becoming a reality in the automotive marketplace.

While Google has often seemed like the boldest advocate and tester of autonomous cars in recent years, Mercedes started working on self-driving cars almost 30 years ago, Zetsche reminded his audience. Developed as part of a European effort called the Eureka Prometheus Project, the test vehicle built with the help of Daimler-Benz successfully completed 620 miles of driving on Germany's famed Autobahn, he noted.

Following that feat, however, "all the research partners agreed it was too ambitious, too complex, too expensive," Zetsche said. Three decades later, those obstacles are increasingly falling away. "We need to get from technically feasible to commercially viable," he said. "The time is right to think about the car of the future."

First Concept Car Just for CES

Mercedes' F015 made its debut by rolling autonomously onto the stage at CES while Zetsche watched. After coming to a stop, the vehicle doors opened to reveal Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, organizer of the CES.

Clearly wowed by the experience, Shapiro thanked Zetsche for the ride, adding that Mercedes was the first car company to ever design a concept car exclusively for CES.

Audi's Jack made a different kind of entrance on Monday after completing its 560-mile drive from California without human intervention....

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Self-Driving Cars Becoming Reality

On the same day that Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche introduced Mercedes' self-driving concept car -- the F015 Luxury in Motion -- to attendees at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), another autonomous vehicle from Audi, dubbed "Jack," drove into Las Vegas after completing a 560-mile trip from California's Silicon Valley.

While Jack is also, for now, only a concept car, executives from Daimler, Audi and other auto companies at CES are voicing a common belief: self-driving cars are no longer that far away from becoming a reality in the automotive marketplace.

While Google has often seemed like the boldest advocate and tester of autonomous cars in recent years, Mercedes started working on self-driving cars almost 30 years ago, Zetsche reminded his audience. Developed as part of a European effort called the Eureka Prometheus Project, the test vehicle built with the help of Daimler-Benz successfully completed 620 miles of driving on Germany's famed Autobahn, he noted.

Following that feat, however, "all the research partners agreed it was too ambitious, too complex, too expensive," Zetsche said. Three decades later, those obstacles are increasingly falling away. "We need to get from technically feasible to commercially viable," he said. "The time is right to think about the car of the future."

First Concept Car Just for CES

Mercedes' F015 made its debut by rolling autonomously onto the stage at CES while Zetsche watched. After coming to a stop, the vehicle doors opened to reveal Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, organizer of the CES.

Clearly wowed by the experience, Shapiro thanked Zetsche for the ride, adding that Mercedes was the first car company to ever design a concept car exclusively for CES.

Audi's Jack made a different kind of entrance on Monday after completing its 560-mile drive from California without human intervention....

Comments are closed.