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Autonomous systems you can buy today
WHILE the fully-automated car is still at least a few years away, driver assist systems are already available in Singapore. While you still can't sack your chauffeur, these latest technologies remove much of the hassle of driving:
BMW Personal CoPilot Driver Assistance
BMW's latest 5 Series is available with Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, and Lane Keeping Assistant. The former takes the stress out of a traffic jam by taking over braking and accelerating, while the latter helps the driver stay in lane with one hand on the wheel. The 5 Series isn't quite hands-free, as a result, but it's practically foot-free at times.
Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot
Mercedes' optional Drive Pilot system seems to do it all (up to 130km/h), enabling the car to pilot itself even when there are no lane markings. It will also stick to signposted speed limits so you never have to see if "the car was speeding by itself!" is a defence that stands up in court. Available on the E-Class, it has just made its way into the newly-facelifted S-Class, as well.
Volvo Pilot Assist
Available on the S90, V90 and XC90 range of luxury vehicles, Volvo's Pilot Assist system helps the driver to drive the car between lane markings while it automatically maintains a pre-selected time interval to the vehicle ahead. In situations that demand sudden braking the driver has to brake himself/herself. It works at up to 50km/h.