Renault unveils hands-free car

RENAULT has unveiled a hands-free car, which it claims will help cut accidents

22 January 2014

RENAULT has unveiled a hands-free car, which it claims will help cut accidents.

Demonstrating the Next Two on TF1 the firm’s CEO Carlos Ghosn said: “More than 90% of road accidents are caused by human errors, so if you diminish the human element in driving you’re going to reduce accidents.”

Following on from similar initiatives like Google’s driverless car, or autonomous cars by Audi and Cadillac, the car is an automatic that allows you to switch to autonomous mode by clicking on an “A”. Otherwise, it resembles a Renault Zoé.

Renault say once you click “A” you can then sit back and read the newspaper, or perhaps use the large built-in sat-nav screen to surf the internet, watch television or even have a video-conference. The car connects to the internet by 3G, 4G or wifi – however it can get the best signal.

In hands-free mode the seat reclines and it is even possible to integrate a “massage” function.

It works with a radar above the front bumper, cameras behind the windscreen and a ultrasound sensors at the front and back. It was designed in 12 months.

Not expected to go on sale before 2018, the current version has only limited autonomy however – it is mainly designed for hands-free driving in jams, at low-speeds and where the camera can pick up clear markings on the roads. The car then breaks and accelerates as required and follows the road.

If necessary it warns the driver to take back control, which also happens if he or she takes hold of the steering wheel. It is also able to park itself.

TF1 reporter Pascal Boulanger said it is thought that autonomous cars may become commonplace by 2020.

Screen shot from TF1: Carlos Ghosn demonstrates the 'hands-free' function

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