Just days after the government gave permission for self-driving cars to be tested on UK roads, Vauxhall has revealed details of a radical autonomous car based on the popular Corsa model.
Currently at the prototype stage, the car is said to be capable of assuming control of all functions including steering, brakes and route planning using a powerful computer system dubbed Vauxhall Autonomous Guidance & Integrated Navigation Assist.
‘This isn’t simply about making a car that can steer itself,’ said GM Europe’s joint head of engineering, John-Ted Ovengineering. ‘Our aim is nothing less than to accurately replicate the on-road behaviour of a typical Corsa. Already, we believe it has best-in-the-world capabilities for being in the wrong lane of a motorway, parking across two spaces in a shopping centre car park and being so incapable of understanding a mini-roundabout that it just sits there dithering for 28 minutes until the entire area is in gridlock.’
However, sources within Vauxhall’s engineering centre say there is still much work to be done to ensure that the self-driving system’s steering inputs accurate mimic those of someone who sits with their face one inch from the airbag, grips the wheel so tightly their knuckles burst and can’t work the clutch without slipping it until smoke comes out.
‘You’ll know we’ve succeeded when you can’t tell if it’s the system or a real Corsa owner driving the car,’ Ovengineering admits. ‘Although of course the system has no interest in covering the dashboard in small soft toys or giving the car a name. It’s a highly intelligent computer system, not a fucking moron.’