TAK­ING CRUISE CON­TROL UP A NOTCH

New Zealand Listener - - FUTURE OF MOTORING -

UN­TIL NOW, THE MOST AD­VANCED VE­HI­CLES HAVE BEEN ONLY SEMI­au­tonomous: they still re­quire a driver to be ready to take over. Our laws are able to cope with these ve­hi­cles, be­cause they are es­sen­tially just us­ing more ad­vanced ver­sions of cruise con­trol and a driver re­mains legally re­spon­si­ble. But at some point, when a ve­hi­cle comes along that doesn’t re­quire hu­man su­per­vi­sion in at least some cir­cum­stances, evo­lu­tion will be­come rev­o­lu­tion. This is the par­a­digm shift be­yond which our laws are not ad­e­quate. We may be there al­ready. As we went to print, there were re­ports that the new Audi A8 is liv­ing up to the man­u­fac­turer’s claims that it can drive it­self on the high­way with­out su­per­vi­sion, al­low­ing the driver to stop pay­ing at­ten­tion and do some­thing else (such as watch a movie). The first A8 sedans are sched­uled to be de­liv­ered to cus­tomers in Europe be­fore the year is out.

Audi’s new A8 sedan can drive it­self on the high­way.

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