Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler was reported to have boldly stated that Piloted Driving will be a reality within a decades time. In effect, Audi is saying that they will have produced a car that will be able to literally drive on its own given a set of directions without any input from the driver.
Theoretically, this can revolutionize the driving industry as we know it as millions of drivers can devote their time to doing something else rather than driving.
Piloted parking was already successfully demonstrated to rave reviews at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show earlier in January. In the demonstration, with the aid of a smartphone a woman steps out of her car and instructs the car to park itself (which it does at a snails pace I might add) and later on retrieves her car all with no effort from herself.
Two problems come to mind. First, how will new road legislation and laws deal with driverless cars on the road? Will there be special provisions for cars that enlist the help of piloted driving? Is piloted driving overall safer for the driving population than regular driving?
Secondly, if piloted driving is the future of driving pushed forward by safety standards and statistically less accidents and deaths, where does that leave regular driving? Can a drunk driver supposedly enable piloted driving to get him home safely if he’s drunken over the limit?
The technology of piloted driving pioneered by Audi will go forward regardless of opinion on bureaucratic law. It is the job of responsible governments and citizens to take this new technology and use it to our benefit.