On Thursday, Tesla began rolling out its Autopilot system to cars built in the last year. While the system does not offer up a completely hands-free experience, it is the beginning of the company’s venture into self-driving cars.
The new features include automatic steering, automatic lane change, side collision warning, and automatic parallel parking. CEO Elon Musk said with the next software update, the cars will even be able to park themselves in the garage.
But Tesla is not the only car company putting semi-autonomous systems in vehicles.
A slew of car companies are working to push out similar features in their cars and some have already introduced many of the self-driving functions Tesla just introduced.
The Mercedes S-Class sedan can steer itself, automatically stop itself in an emergency, and control the car from veering into someone else's lanes. It can also automatically parallel park for the driver.
The S-Class sedan was actually the first car to offer these features when it introduced the technology in 2014.
The Volvo's new XC90, which launched earlier this year, includes a 'Pilot Assist' system that can take over the steering and throttle in traffic jam situations going at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. However, if the driver removes their hands from the steering wheel for 10 seconds, the car will begin to beep
In addition, 'Pilot Assist' features auto braking to help avoid collisions and a lane keeping function that adjusts the steering when a driver is drifting out of their lane.
Like Tesla, the system also will also automatically parallel park.
Volvo is betting big on autonomous systems. Earlier this month the company said that it would take responsibility if any of its vehicles were in an accident while in autonomous mode.
The driving assistant system in the 2016 BMW 7 Series, which begins delivery this month, features an auto-steering function and a feature that will keep you in your lane that will work at speeds of up to 130 miles per hour.
However, drivers can only go hands-free for about 15-seconds before it begins to beep to remind the driver to put their hands on the wheel. It can also automatically pull in and out of the user's garage by itself.
The company demonstrated a fully autonomous BMW i3 model at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, but it is not in production. However, the company is reportedly working with the Chinese company Baidu to create a self-driving car in the next few years.
General Motors is launching a new Cadillac next year that will feature technology that enables the driver to travel on the highway hands-free and feet-free.
GM CEO Mary Barra said during a presentation last year that the feature will include automatic steering, acceleration, and braking on highways or in stop and go driving.
The company is also planning to deploy self-driving Chevrolet Volts for employee use at its Warren Technical Campus next year. Employees will be able to use a smartphone app to request a self-driving car for pick-up and will be able to enter their destination for drop-off.
Mitsubishi recently showed off its automated-driving technology that uses satellite data and 3D maps to navigate. The system enables the car to parallel park the avoid any oncoming collision.
The company will also be revealing a concept car at the Tokyo Auto Show later this month called the EMIRAI3 xAUTO that has several autonomous features, including automatic braking, automatic parking, and merging assistance. The new vehicle is expected to go into production by 2020.
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