A Canadian company is helping to bring self-driving to the masses with an off-the-shelf, five piece kit that turns almost any car partially autonomous.
For less than USD 3,000, almost any vehicle can be made partially self-driving with X-Matik’s LaneCruise add-on system. The Toronto, Canada, based company is one of seven organizations given the go-ahead by the Ontario government to live test self-driving vehicles. X-Matik is currently monitoring the use of 200 of its LaneCruise kits throughout Ontario.
Each add-on system contains a brainbox that sits below the driver’s seat, a forward-looking camera that is attached to the rear-view mirror, a brake, gas pedal and a wheel controller. What LaneCruise does not include is sonar and radar and the company’s founder acknowledges the lack. What X-Matik’s system is doing, however, is democratizing access to self-driving functionality for the many people who cannot afford a new car. When the limits of the LaneCruise system are reached, the driver is alerted and asked to take control of the vehicle. A full launch of the final design is planned for 2018.
More and more self-driving vehicles are taking to the roads, and the technology’s use continues to expand. As would be expected, long-haul trucking is one of the many industries trialling the technology. Self-driving wheelchairs are being used in a hospital to help relieve nurses from logistics work that includes finding wheelchairs and wheeling patients around the hospital network. How could autonomous driving be used in unexpected ways or areas?