Porsche is joining the ranks of autonomous vehicle offerings. With the Porsche InnoDrive, the brand aims to begin paving a path toward eliminating driver (human) error. Will Porsche have what it takes to compete with the Google or Audi autonomous technologies? Not so fast. They are merely bundling some of their existing smart technologies together and still require flesh and bone to function.
The autonomous vehicle is being billed as one without human error, even though humans created it. The idea behind the technology is quite simple: A machine can stay focused on the road while humans naturally become distracted. Machines do not get hungry, listen to music or feel an urge to update Facebook while operating a motor vehicle. Humans do all of those things and so very many more that lead to accidents and deaths each day.
The Porsche InnoDrive system is actually a semi-autonomous take on the futuristic technology. Porsche is sharing that the technology will still allow human input and interactivity, but will monitor closely for mistakes and possible collisions. The brand also claims that InnoDrive is faster than a human driver, which is admittedly interesting. Have they run this claim past the Stig on Top Gear?
The InnoDrive system strategically bundles the Porsche adaptive cruise control function with traffic monitoring, cameras, radars and sensors. The end result gives the car a decent feel for the environment around it, allowing it to provide the driver with intelligent input on how to best navigate. The system can run the brakes and accelerate, but still requires a human being to steer and select the options.
Audi and Google are already out testing sans drivers, and it appears Porsche is on a path to develop similar technology for the future. They seem to be starting with baby steps rather than going full Transformers off the jump. On another note, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS has been revealed a bit early, and there are many more things to come from the brand this year.