Active cruise control can already maintain a safe following-distance to the car in front, while lane-keep assist will gently steer you back into your lane should you wander towards the painted lines.
But the two systems are yet to be married to such a degree that a car can detect an approaching corner and react while the cruise control is active.
Car And Driver reports that Porsche’s system - called InnoDrive - will allow for cornering at up to 0.70g, meaning the car’s sporting credentials won’t be softened while it’s driving itself.
Camera and radar systems are the main motivator for the system, but InnoDrive also calls upon data from its on-board computer to map the radius and gradient of an upcoming corner to determine the best approach speed and angle.
As the driver, all you need to do is hang on… and steer.
The Porsche will see a corner, apply the minimal braking necessary, and then require you turn the steering wheel to guide the car around the corner.
The driver won’t need any of the pedals, and the car will accelerate again - sometimes at full throttle - once you’re through the turn.
By eliminating unnecessary braking (the enemy of fuel consumption) and optimising cornering speeds, Porsche says InnoDrive can cut around two percent off your travel time, while lowering fuel consumption by up to ten percent.
The system also saves time and fuel by ensuring the engine operates in its optimum rev-range at all times for maximum acceleration and minimal fuel use.
Furthermore, the InnoDrive system will apply the right acceleration before a hill to reduce the need for a boot-full of throttle midway up the incline; further reducing fuel consumption and saving more time.
(Hmmm, no doubt Australia’s endless forest of roadside speed cameras with negligible tolerances will render that feature unusable…)
Porsche hasn’t mentioned any predicted improvements to collision statistics, but a system that optimises cornering speed without ever exceeding it will likely improve safety if more widely adopted.
The InnoDrive system is scheduled to be market-ready by the end of the decade.
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