Mercedes-Benz S500 Intelligent Drive: The Self-Driving Car Is On the Horizon

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The world may not be ready for a Jetsons-era flying automobile, but we are so very close to getting a self-driving car.

Hold on to your hats friends for the future is hurtling towards us at a rapid rate. At the Frankfurt Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz showed off their new S500 Intelligent Drive, a research vehicle designed to test out the ability for a car to drive itself.

I’ll give you a minute to soak that in. A car that is able to basically read the road, compare it to a map, and take in factors such as other cars and road conditions and changes that deviate from the known maps. Amazing right? Imagine it – getting in the car after a long night out, and having the ability to get home using your own car. Need to fish a child’s tossed out of reach bottle from the back seat somewhere? A self-driving car might make that a little bit easier, not to mention perhaps safer.

While the technology required for this self-driving car is very close to what is available on the current Mercedes S-Class, the auto company is saying that consumers won’t have the chance to test this out for themselves until 2020. While that seems like a mini-lifetime away, look at how far technology has come in the last seven years. Hard to imagine that we can run full fledged gaming experiences on a phone today when a mere seven years ago, Snake still was the go-to time waster for those on the move.

When current cars that tout the ability to self-park and stop themselves when sensing something too close came on the market, there was concern that drivers would come to be too reliant on the features and it would, in turn, lead to more accidents. There has been no clear evidence to support those worries, but will the same be said for a self-driving car? Only time will tell. All we know now is we aren’t too far away from road trips as we know them being a literal thing of the past.

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