Cruise is an eight-person start-up that seeks to revolutionise how we commute. It has created what is essentially an autopilot which you can retrofit to your existing car that can take over the car’s streering, throttle and brakes, to make sure your car stays in its lane and keeps a safe distance to the car in front.
The vehicle is called the Cruise RP-1, probably the first version of many more to come. It uses a combination of sensors to monitor lane markers as well as vehicles nearby and basically steers itself along the highway. It will slow down to a complete stop if necessary to avoid a collission.
Cruise refers to the RP1 as a “highway autopilot” which means you have to drive yourself before you get onto the highway and after you turn off to your destination, but the ability to offload even the highway drive alone to the system is something some people would look forward to.
You basically drive onto a highway and once you are in a lane, you press the Cruise button and the system will take over. Once you reach your desired highway exit you have to take over.
The system is made of three parts – sensors that go on top of the car, actuators for the steering, throttle and brakes, and a computer that is mounted in the boot to process everything.
At the moment, the Cruise RP1 only works with newer Audi cars, but it intends to expand the list of compatible cars in the future. Only 50 units are available for pre-launch booking now with a 2015 targeted launch, at US$10,000 each.