- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
Nevada is the first state to pass laws regulating driverless vehicles. To qualify for a special state license, engineers at Continental have built and driven a heavily modified Volkswagen Passat with its brake and steering controls removed and replaced with sensors to digitally read and interpret surroundings. According to engineer Ibro Muharemovic, the Passat has logged almost 10,000 miles of autonomous driving and during a more recent trip from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Brimley, Michigan, home of Continental’s development and testing center, more than 90 percent of the journey did not involve the use of hands and feet.
Unlike Google’s ambitions to create a sophisticated fully autonomous vehicle, Continental went along to develop an interim semi-autonomous option that could take over duties during stop-and-go traffic or extended stretches of highway, the least satisfying of driving conditions. However, Continental and Google’s endpoint is identical: to create a solution that will reduce accidents, congestion, and fuel consumption. Continental director of engineering systems and technology Christian Schumacher said, “We still have a long way to go, but the technology is amazing.”
According to Ravi Pandit, CEO of India’s global IT and engineering company KPIT Cummins, “There is a strong business case for an autonomous car that can drop you off or a cab without the expense of a driver.”
Despite the optimism, mass production semiautonomous cars are still a couple years away. The technology exists but the idea raises questions of liability, regulation, and public acceptance. NHTSA will begin a study of autonomous driving in August with a one-year pilot project in Ann Arbor, testing 3,000 cars with the ability to communicate with one another to avoid an accident. What’s more, in an event of a crash, the law has yet to resolve who is reliable or whether the occupants of an autonomous car are legally exempt from bans on mobile devices.
As for passenger anxiety, Ravi Pandit is confident that, “A car can see better than a human can, and the car responds faster.”
Engineer Ibro Muharemovic commented, “I was surprised by how well it worked.” Continental’s Volkswagen Passat is fitted with a stereo camera that can monitor speed-bumps or potholes as far as 220 yards away and adjust steering, braking, and acceleration accordingly. Muharemovic adds, “The driver is always in control and can override the system any time.”
If testing is successful and Continental is qualified for Nevada registration, a special red license plate will be provided to distinguish the driverless car. In the future, production driverless cars would receive a green license plate.
Check out video footage of Continental’s autonomous Volkswagen Passat driving itself below.
Set to make their world debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, Bentley has released some photos of their new V8-powered Continental GT Coupe and GT Convertible. Powered by a new 4.0L, twin-turbocharged V8 powerplant with 500-hp, Bentley claims that the new V8 will also deliver 40-percent better fuel economy.
Though there are no real surprises, Bentley has made their new Continental GTC official, detailing the new luxury convertible in a comprehensive press releases. The four-seater convertible features a seven-bow, three-layer fabric roof that’s available in eight different colors. It can fold and rise in just 25 seconds and works at speeds up to 20-mph.
Specialty tuner Imperium prides itself on creating one-off bespoke custom vehicles for high-end clients, working closely with the vehicle’s owner to make their wildest dreams come true. Most recently Imperium decided to reveal a customer’s Bentley Continental GT in order to show off to the world what the possibilities are when you bring your vehicle to them. The end result is a completely custom Continental GT, featuring plenty of one-off parts including its body kit and wheels.
Joining Bentley‘s 6.0L twin-turbo W12 powerplant in the near future is a rumored 4.0L V8 that will be more efficient with lower emissions. And now it seems that Bentley will officially unveil the new V8 to the public at next year’s Detroit Auto Show, which will be a nice followup to the refreshed GTC that is planned to be shown at Frankfurt this September.
It appears that Bentley will be ready to debut the new Continental GTC at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show in September. This debut will come one year after Bentley first unveiled its refreshed Continental GT, featuring a lighter body, more powerful and slightly more fuel-efficient engine.
As Bentley‘s new 2011 Continental starts to hit the streets, aftermarket companies are starting to release even more modifications for the current model in the hopes that owners will look to invest in their current car rather than buy a new one. One such tuner is Onyx, which has just announced an update to its GTO Package promising a horsepower bump to 660-hp (over the factory 550-hp) while freshening up the aesthetics to rival the 2012 Continental facelift.
MC Customs, based out of Miami, Florida, specializes in high-end builds for celebrities, professional athletes and the layman with a thick enough wallet to satisfy their customizing tastes. Their collection of vehicles include Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, one of which is this custom widebody Continental Supersports. While its styling may not be for everybody, there’s no denying the quality and craftsmanship in the work in addition to being one of the most extreme Continental Supersports in the world.