An anonymous reader tips a story about comments from Ford Motor Company showing how confident they are in the autonomous car technology currently in development. They say self-driving cars will be here within just five years, and that the tech to do so is available already. They also think these cars will dramatically affect the flow of traffic. Quoting: "Ford makes this projection, based on simulator studies: If one in four cars has Traffic Jam Assist or similar self-driving technologies, travel times are reduced by 37.5% and delays are reduced by 20%. In other words, if the freeway part of your rush hour commute takes 60 minutes, it will drop to 38. That’s because adaptive cruise control (ACC) is better at pacing the car ahead without continual brake, speed-up, brake cycles. Here’s how it works: Stop-and-go ACC keeps pace with the car ahead, using a look-ahead radar and mirror-mounted camera. Lane keep assist keeps the car centered, also taking advantage of the camera in the mirror. Electric power steering is better for remote control than mechanical power steering; it can be guided by the Traffic Jam Assist black box. Sonar units — for blind spot detection and cross traffic alerts (cars crossing behind when backing) — monitor traffic to the side. Combine all those and you have a car that’s smart enough to guide itself during predictable, low-speed conditions."
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