'Self-driven' cars to soon be a reality on streets

Luxury on wheels

'Self-driven' cars to soon be a reality on streets

A European team claims to be working on such a fantasy car which can drive itself -in fact, tests would start next year on such vehicles that “drive themselves” and could be on roads within 10 years, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Co-ordinated by a UK company, the European Union project is called Safe Road Trains for the Environment and it involves a “carpooling” roadtrain theory for use.  The roadtrain would consist of six to eight vehicles whose occupants would be able to relax, read the paper or chat on mobiles while travelling; this’ll be possible as their cars would be equipped with a navigation system and a transmitter unit that communicates with the lead vehicle, say scientists.

This lead vehicle—possibly a taxi a bus or a —will drive “normally” and effectively “do the motoring” for the rest of the roadtrain. Drivers approaching their destination will take over control of their own vehicle, leave the convoy by exiting off to the side and then continue on their own to their respective destinations.

The other vehicles in the roadtrain close the gap and continue on their way until the convoy splits up. The road trains increase safety and reduce environmental impact, thanks to lower fuel consumption compared with the cars being driven individually, the scientists say. The reason is that the cars in the train are close to each other, exploiting the resultant lower air drag. The energy saving is expected to be in the region of 20 per cent. Road capacity will be able to be utilised efficiently.
The Sartre project will be conducted for three years on test tracks in the UK, Spain and Sweden and eventually on public roads in Spain.

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