Forget backseat drivers. In the future, your car will tell you how crappy a driver you are.
Like it or not, self-driving cars are on the way. When they arrive is up for debate, but rest assured they are coming. Don’t pour out a 40 just yet, as some of these cars aren’t all bad. Google’s recent offering is pretty horrible, but the cars on this list are anything but. They’re comfortable, fast and eons away from what Google is selling. If you’re tired of fearing the future, or if you just want to see what your kids will be driving, continue below.
Road trips would look a lot different in the Rinspeed XchangE. The concept car is based off the Tesla Model S and is designed for comfort and entertainment. It is filled with display screens and even sports a 32-inch home cinema monitor. The cabin has been designed for comfort and to save space, meaning stretching out is a must. Driving around winding roads is fun and all, but I’m pretty sure those who crisscross the country wouldn’t mind kicking back and watching a movie while the miles zip by.
“Fastest and Furiousest 12” may be filled with self-driving BMW M235is. The German automaker is pushing autonomous tech hard, but it’s also keeping an eye on fun. The self-driving M235i showed at CES 2014 was able to slalom around cones and keep perfect control when it came to slipping and sliding around the track. BMW is shooting for fully autonomous cars by 2020, so keep your eyes peeled for drifting German coupes complete with sleeping drivers.
Audi isn’t letting BMW steal all the self-driving fun, as evidenced by its autonomous RS7. Audi’s self-driving four-door recently hit Spain’s Ascari Track for a little fun and the results are more than encouraging. It handled the track like a pro while a human sat behind the wheel (and another sat in the passenger seat). Looking good so far, Germany.
While the Rinspeed XchangE is in concept form, Mercedes actually hit the road in a luxury autonomous car late in 2013. A self-driving S-Class completed a 60-mile trek through rural and urban Germany. No cows or people were hurt which is pretty amazing considering the car was decked out with equipment found in production-class Mercedes. All of the cameras and sensors were given a boost thanks to a special algorithm designed to let the car harness its tech to drive itself.
While the above cars exist in reality, the Zoox self-driving car lives only in renderings. The future-forward company is designing an autonomous car that is all you fear and more. The car looks like something straight out of a sci-fi film and there doesn’t appear to be any steering wheel or reverse gear. If you’re really, really looking forward to autonomous cars then this Zoox concept will be right up your alley.