Will the 2009 Saturn Aura Be Able to Drive Itself?

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The Car Connection reports that GM's Opel subsidiary is testing a self-driving Opel Vectra midsize sedan in Germany that uses enhanced adaptive cruise control and lane-drifting alert technologies. The publication says that GM hopes to launch the two driving-control takeover systems in Europe in 2008 as an $1830 option.

"GM has upgraded the automatic cruise control system, which hold vehicles at predetermined distances behind the vehicle in front by using laser beams rather than radio waves to measure distances and determine the speed of the other vehicle. The technique, called 'lidar' - as opposed to radar - works at speeds below 20 MPH and solves a problem associated with conventional cruise-control devices." With regards to lane-drifting, the Opel Vectra prototype's "laser beams pick up white lines on a camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror. The lasers afford a significantly wider field of vision, improving on existing systems which see only straight ahead."

Infiniti currently offers a lane departure warning system in its FX45 sport-utility. If GM is successful in surmounting the legal and political hurdles associated with bringing such as system to market, sources tell SaturnFans.com that the company will look to the U.S. market next. Will it be offered in the Epsilon-based midsize Saturn Aura? We'll have to wait and see.

 

Source: The Car Connection

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General Motors to Auction Near-Classics from Corporate Museum

Flashback Friday: 1,000,000th Saturn

Jalopnik.com reports General Motors will auction off a number of vehicles from its vaunted Heritage Center museum collection in an effort to raise cash to help offset the huge losses the company is faced with due to the global financial crisis. There are about 1000 vehicles of historical significance in storage that GM uses for the displays at the museum, but only about 150 to 200 of those vehicles can be featured at one time. On the list of vehicles to be auctioned are several notable Saturns from the past. The website says they will be sold at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction held January 13-19 in Scottsdale, Arizona.