Volkswagen semi-autonomous hands-free driving system introduced

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Wait a minute here – did I read it correctly? Is Volkswagen’s semi-autonomous hands-free driving system supposed to help you get around in your vehicle while keeping your hands free to do something else? The answer is in the affirmative, where Volkswagen has dubbed their new system as the Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP), where it will link between existing driver assist technologies and completely automated vehicles. You as the driver have a role to play – monitoring the system, but at least TAP paves the way for semi-automatic driving on a highway at speeds of up to 130 km/h (80 mph).

You won’t find a driverless car here, but TAP will merge automatic driving assisting technologies that are already in place, alongside semi-automatic functions which require constant monitoring by you, the driver.

TAP is capable of controlling the car’s speed, making sure it maintains a safe distance from other vehicles, while dropping its speed right before a bend. Apart from that, it will also ensure that your vehicle’s central position is retained with respect to lane markers. Needless to say, TAP can be deactivated at any time in case an emergency arises. Despite it being semi-autonomous, that doesn’t mean you can now take off both eyes from the road and play around on your iPhone instead.

Do you happen to look forward to these kinds of driving systems in the future, or do you prefer to remain firmly behind the wheel? We guess that most folks would want to stick with the latter, since humans love to be in control, unless you’re this extremely busy executive who cannot afford a driver. We say stick to the driver – most of them double up as bodyguards anyways on your payroll, so why not get the extra protection? It isn’t as though such smarter vehicles have the IQ of K.I.T.T. in the Knight Rider series…

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2 reviews or comments

Robert Says: June 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I don’t know about most people but I for one want it all or nothing. I don’t want to have to still watch the road, I don’t want it to work just when I’m going straight. If I can’t take a nap, or play a game and my car will drive to my destination, I’m not interested. Its a pass for me.

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