Cars have come a long way, and though Africa is not the cradle for cars, we watch mesmerized because we know that one day, these amazingly advanced cars will reach Africa. The continent is fast becoming a very lucrative market with time. From the invention of the steam powered vehicle to cars powered by internal combustion engine, modern gasoline or petrol fueled internal combustion engine to electric powered cars, it has been a long journey. It is not over yet! Lately we have new trends in exterior styling, size and utility preferences. If that is not enough, car manufacturers are finding new ways to make their cars unique.
Lets consider the Swedish automaker, Volvo. Not driven that much in Africa? Too much of a high end car? Africa is soon going to be high-end, you will see. and anyway, even the high end countries do fall, and their fall is huge. Remember what happened to Cyprus almost poulling every EU member down?
Volvo is applying its autonomous vehicle technology in a new concept car. The autonomous vehicle technology is the newest technology in the car industry. The vehicle is robotic and self driving and senses the environment around it and knows when to turn, when to stop and when to start. The vehicle operates itself mechanically though a person may operate it from a distance. The vehicle uses GPS, computer vision and laser. Perfect for Africa, this one is.
The new concept car can be “dropped off” at the curb by its owner to navigate the parking lot and find an available parking space . It uses mobile application – the Self Parking Function – that the driver turns on, leaving the car to do the rest. The vehicle enters and navigates a car park and finds a parking space by use of sensors which are hidden from view.
Expensive technology for Africa
The parking space must have vehicle 2 infrastructure technology which the vehicle interacts with. The technology places transmitters in the road to inform the car and the driver if the self parking service is available.
The car can also interact safely with other cars, pedestrians and objects. When the owner is ready to go, he or she activates the application and the car leaves the parking lot on its own to meet him or her while interacting and adjusting with other cars, pedestrians and objects.
According to Volvo, the first application in a production vehicle will happen at the end of 2014 with some level of autonomous steering available in the next generation XC90. In Africa, we watch, marvel and wait patiently for our time!