UPDATED 23:00 EDT / AUGUST 28 2013

Fully Autonomous + Foldable Cars in the Very Near Future : Smart Car Roundup

In this week’s SmartCar roundup we’ll be featuring fully autonomous cars coming by 2020, a folding car, and a GPS Safety System to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Nissan promises fully automated self-driving cars by 2020


Earlier this year, it was predicted that by 2016 we’ll see partially autonomous cars out in the market, highly autonomous by 2020, and fully autonomous cars by 2025.  But Nissan promises that it will be ahead of the competition, announcing plans to deliver fully autonomous cars by 2020.

“Nissan Motor Co. pledges that we will be ready to bring multiple affordable, energy efficient, fully autonomous-driving vehicles to the market by 2020,” Executive Vice President Andy Palmer said during a presentation in Southern California.

Nissan currently has a self-driving Leaf electrical that is able to detect a red light and slow down, swerve automatically to avoid a collision, and if a driver flicks the turn signal, the car will turn simulating exiting a freeway.  What puts Leaf ahead of the game is that all its sensors are already built in the car, so all it needs now is more testing and polishing of features.

Nissan aims to roll out autonomous driving technology and make it available across its model lineup roughly between eight and 10 years apart.

Foldable car


We’ve heard about foldable bikes that make storage easier, but have you heard of a foldable car?  Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology unveiled the “Armadillo-T” which is a prototype micro electric car.

So what’s so special about this car?  It is able to fold, shrinking from its original size of 2.8 meters to 1.65 meters, when not in use. The researchers see this as a viable solution to solve the problem in parking spots in congested areas.  One standard Korean parking space will be able to accommodate three of these folded Armadillo-Ts.

The best part about this car is that once you exit the vehicle, you can use your smartphone app to fold the car and navigate it to the tiny parking spot.  The front wheels have motors that allows it turn full circle for easy navigating.

Great idea, as long as you’re not that much of a speedster on the road.  The Armadillo-T has a top speed of 60 kilometers an hour, and has a 10-minute fast charge that will allow you to travel 100 kilometers before it needs charging.

GPS Safety System


Tag N Go announced the global launch of the complete GPS Safety System, uniquely designed to improve driver safety.

Drivers need only to plug in the Family Car Tracker into their car, and then Tag N Go delivers instant driving behavior information to any smartphone, tablet, or PC.

Tag N Go calculates your Drive Score every trip, which gives detailed information on where and how to improve driving safety relative to speed, acceleration, cornering, and breaking habits.  It also features engaging social media tools, real-time location tracking, and the ability to analyze past trips, which makes the system the most advanced telematics solution on the market today.  With its driver evaluation feature, it is very useful for driving schools, as it will make it easier for them to assess how well or poorly the student driver is doing and know exactly what they’re doing wrong.

Tag N Go represents the future of driving instruction. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We believe so strongly in its capabilities, that Tag N Go will be incorporated into our standard curriculum with over 50,000 DSAA driving instructors, as well as offered to the over 1.1 million drivers we instruct annually,” Thomas M. Antkow C.D.E., Western Regional Vice President, Driving School Association of the Americas, stated.

If you have kids teens who have the habit of borrowing the car and going places where they shouldn’t, Tag N Go has a feature that allows you to set a GeoFence or boundary and get an alert when the boundary is crossed.

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