GM to offer connected car, automated driving technology in 2016
By Ben Klayman
DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote) will introduce in two years its first car that can communicate with other vehicles to help avoid accidents and ease traffic congestion, Chief Executive Mary Barra said on Sunday.
In the same time frame, GM also will introduce more advanced technology allowing hands-free driving in some cases, she said.
"I'm convinced customers will embrace (vehicle-to-vehicle) and automated driving technologies for one simple reason: they are the answer to everyday problems that people want solved," she said in a text of a speech delivered at a conference here.
Auto companies, academics and government agencies globally are working to develop cameras, sensors, radar and other technologies that allow vehicles and surrounding infrastructure like stoplights to alert each other about nearby driving conditions.
The industry is rolling out such features as adaptive cruise control, crash-imminent braking and semi-automated, hands-free driving like GM's 'Super Cruise' feature to make roads safer.
However, GM and other automakers have emphasized that even with hands-free driving, drivers will be responsible and need to maintain attention on the road. Meanwhile, Internet search company Google Inc (GOOGL.O: Quote) is working to develop fully autonomous vehicles.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has made developing connected car technologies a high priority, a view shared in Japan and Europe. And when cars can also talk to surrounding infrastructure, the gains will be exponential, Barra said.
However, she said commercializing a fully automated vehicle may take until the next decade. Continued...