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Future autonomous features

3853 Views 14 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Winger
While in for the SW recall with my 2017 w/ACC, I noticed another driver with a gen1 Volt that had the mobileye camera installed. I wasn't aware that some gen1 cars had lane keeping so I asked him about it and he clarified it was lane departure warning only.

I'm fascinated by the prospects going forward... If some pre-2016 cars had lane departure warning and 2016+ have optional lane keeping (err, nudging) I'm wondering at what point the Volt (and probably Bolt) will have actual old style Tesla highway 'autopilot'? Perhaps even auto-lane switching although that might require side cameras.. not sure if the SBZ detectors would be sufficient.

No doubt at a minimum this would require a lot more processing (and software) and perhaps even a better camera (not sure of the specs on the existing cam). But it wouldn't be too hard to predict this coming to the Volt/Bolt in the near future.

I guess my real question would be: Does anyone think existing ACC cars would be offered a camera/processor upgrade to enable some of these features? Doesn't sound like GM style to offer such upgrades and I guess it might require some UI rewriting as well.. Just curious.
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I had lane departure warning and front crash alert warning on our 2013 Volt. (safety 1 and 2) Neither worked well enough to really rely on. It was gimmicky and we ended up turning them off. I wouldn't trust either of them in that car to keep me in a lane/change lanes or stop a rear end crash. They alerted to often in wrong situations. A lot of the time the lane keep couldn't figure out where the lane is. Granted, in good weather on Florida roads the lane departure warning was better. Add heavy rain, fog, or now in my case snow and ice fog... I'm sure next gen is better and that is good thing.

IMHO, radar/lidar/FLIR, and cameras isn't going to be enough. Highways will still need some sort of chip, marker, put into the highway itself. THEN I can see autopilot working and much sooner. Right now we play this game called who's lane is it anyway?
It will be interesting to watch how it unfolds.. Tesla is claiming they'll have full autonomy in a few years with little more hardware than the existing ACC Volt (many more cameras, souped up ultrasonics and vastly more processing.. all relatively cheap from a bill of materials perspective). Almost everyone else (?) is using prohibitively expensive LIDAR units for full autonomy. Given pedestrians and cyclists not to mention winding roads and inconsistent traffic I suppose it's not hard to understand although hard to see it going mass scale without breakthroughs in solid state lidars (or really good vision/processing in Tesla's case).

I can certainly understand how first gen lane departure systems could be rather annoying. The newer systems that don't make noise but rather just nudge the steering wheel I think are actually LESS intrusive. More often than not I find the small nudge helpful although in some cases it can be annoying. I also have the front crash alert enabled which blasts an alarm and flashes the red LEDs on the windshield.. 90% of the time it's annoying but there was ONE time when I wasn't paying good enough attention in traffic and it really saved me. So now I put up with it (and slow down well in advance of stopped traffic).

The little lane keeping icon on the dash goes amber or disappears when it doesn't have a solid lock on the lanes.. Until the cameras/software get strong enough that the icon is green 99.9% of the time, I wouldn't want to relinquish the wheel.. even on flat open highway in good visibility. But I'm sure we'll get there eventually.
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Interesting reading up on the NHTSA objections to Super Cruise.. I wonder how Nissan's ProPilot and others will deal with this. Clearly more SW is needed beyond Tesla's gen1 autopilot.
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