The five most advanced driverless cars available in 2016, RAC Drive

The five most advanced driverless cars presently available

There are a handful of autonomous cars available today, however, they are not downright ‘self-driving’.

We take a look at where the technology presently stands and expose five of the most advanced self-driving cars presently on sale – the cars you genuinely take your mum out in and exclaim, «look – no palms!».

1. Tesla Model S

The all-electric Telsa Model S lightly became the most advanced autonomous car on sale at launch – all models have, via an automatic over-the-air update, now been tooled with Autopilot. This brings self-driving functionality to all Model S, free of charge.

It works at motorway speeds and, if you take your mitts off the wheel, will automatically steer the Tesla EV to keep its position in the middle of the lane. Autonomous cruise control will also slow you down if the car in front switches speed – and it will even switch lanes hands-free. All you have to do is turn on the indicator.

It doesn`t yet work fairly as seamlessly as a fully self-driving car, but at launch, it was the closest we`ve yet got – and as Tesla is pioneering this technology, you can be sure the hard has slew more up its sleeve to roll out soon.

Two. Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz offers a Drive Pilot feature as part of the Driver Assistance package on the all-new E-Class. Bringing autonomous technology to the sub-£40,000 executive car sector, the suite of tech here is as advanced as the Tesla Model S Autopilot tech.

The fresh E-Class can keep its position in a motorway lane at speeds of up to 130mph – and at speeds of up to 80mph if it`s following another car but no lane markings are present – and will, like the Tesla, automatically switch lane if you indicate.

Mercedes-Benz won`t let you keep your arms off the wheel and let the car self-drive for long however: after thirty seconds, a warning will sound and, if you don`t put your arms back, the car will embark to pull over and come to a halt. We`re sure it won`t be long before this cautious safety measure is pegged back tho’.

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Trio. BMW seven Series

The all-new BMW seven Series is the rigid`s most tech-packed car ever and the closest thing to a driverless car BMW has produced yet. It includes a headline-grabbing all-new feature: Automatic Parking. which permits the seven Series to park itself, even when there`s nobody in it.

Set the car up within the surroundings of the bay or garage you want to park in, then get out and hold down a button on the keyfob: the car will magically drive itself forward (instantly stopping if you release the keyfob). Ideal, says BMW, for those with taut garages, but in the future, could this be a feature that permits you to park at the entrance to a car park and walk off as your BMW drives away and parks itself?

Four. Nissan Qashqai Piloted Drive

The Nissan Qashqai Piloted Drive isn`t on sale just yet, but it`s coming soon: in 2017, the Japanese stiff will be selling a UK-built Qashqai fitted with the very first Piloted Drive system in Europe. This will be one of the most advanced self-driving features we`ve yet seen on a best-selling car, making it the closest thing to a driverless car being available on the ‘mass-market’.

The system will actively react to its surroundings, promises Nissan, steering the vehicle in response to what it senses. In strenuous traffic, the driver will be able to sit downright hands-off and let the car do the hard work, before taking over when speeds rise. This is just the embark too, says Nissan: the speed range and abilities of the self-driving tech will grow with every coming year…

Five. Ford Concentrate Active Park Assist

You can, in a sense, already buy an autonomous self-driving car and you don`t have to pay a fortune for it. Mainstream models such as the Ford Concentrate suggest advanced Active Park Assist systems, that make parallel parking child`s play: simply drive past a space, press a button, operate the pedals and the car will do the rest steering you neatly and accurately into the parking bay.

If you`ve never experienced it before, it`s amazing to see the steering spin around with no forearms on it, accurately parking the car in the bay with immense accuracy. Proving how quickly autonomous self-driving technology becomes commonplace tho’, this is almost mainstream technology now – such is the tempo of switch in the high-tech world of autonomous cars.

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