Renault has developed a low-cost, part-time self-driving car that could go on sale as early as next year, if regulations allow it. This autonomous driving system enables driving to be ‘delegated’ to the car at speeds below 19mph in areas where no pedestrians or bicycles are allowed.
These roads would include motorways and other major roads, plus car parks that use valet parking. This may not sound much, until you consider how often a motorway journey turns to a crawl; in these circumstances, the Renault would do the driving for you.
The system is also likely to cost no more than a few hundred pounds; its promised affordability stems partly from the fact that it would not be a fully self-driving car, and partly because it harnesses existing hardware used for the parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and road sign detection cameras.
Renault says it will have the system ready by next year, and is negotiating with both the European Union and the French government for the system to be legalised.