Driverless cars are nearly here and Cruise, a San Francisco start-up, wants to make sure Google doesn't control the market. Cruise can already be added to an Audi, for £6000, to make it driverless – and it wants to work on all cars soon.
Cruise uses a top mounted sensor array and a footwell plug-in to control the car's accelerating, braking and steering. The RP-1 units are available for pre-order now for $10,000 with 50 being made initially. They currently only work with Audi A4 and S4 cars.
Cruise aims to do six to nine months more testing, for safety's sake, before selling to the public. It then wants to make the RP-1 universal so it works in any car.
Cruise works once a user reaches the highway where it can be turned on to take control so a user can read, watch a show, or even have a nap. The "highway autopilot" can be turned off with a tap of the accelerator or a move of the wheel, much like cruise control.
The company was started just 7 months ago and already has working prototypes. It was set up by Kyle Vogt, famous for starting online gaming video platform Twitch. "We realise we’re a startup and we’re going against $100 billion companies," says Vogt. "The only way we can be in the same space is to take advantage of our ability to be nimble and move quickly."