We’re plummeting headlong into a future of cars that move without us, and you may not have to buy a brand new ride to be a part of it. You see, a startup called Cruise has been showing off a working prototype of its aftermarket RP-1 kit, and it aims to bring self-driving smarts to the car you already have.
Cruise’s system is an awfully neat one: it combines a roof-mounted sensor array with a series of actuators that manipulate the wheel and pedals. Meanwhile, a computer lodged in your trunk sort of sits between the two, chewing on all that road data and issuing commands to the control system.
Of course, all of that is invisible to the person in the driver’s seat – one touch on a button installed in the dash toggles the whole shebang on and off.
Calling it a full-fledged autonomous driving system is a bit too generous, though. At this point, it’s best to think of it as cruise control plus – Cruise will maintain a set speed and steer to avoid obstacles, but you shouldn’t plan on taking any naps in the back seat.