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Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2014
12:26 p.m.

Features of self-driving cars available now

A.J. Mueller, Chrysler

Many vehicles now come standard with features that will monitor blind spots, warn a driver against drifting out of a lane, or emit beeps or seat vibrations if an object is too close for safety.

Others have adaptive cruise control, a technology that can read traffic conditions and automatically direct the car to slow down or speed up. More advanced systems, using combinations of radar, sonar and GPS, can detect an impending wreck and take emergency action, such as slamming on the brakes.

Some automakers are developing advanced parking systems as a precursor to self-driving. Audi, for instance, is developing a technology that enables a driver to leave the vehicle while it parks itself.

That isn’t on the market yet, but Audi, Lexus and other companies already offer vehicles that have varying degrees of “Look Ma, no hands” parking capability. The 2015 Chrysler 200 and Jeep Cherokees will parallel park a car with the driver controlling only the gas and brake.

Charles Fleming

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