Car and Driver must absolutely despise Continental:
As we drove along Chicago’s South Lakeshore Drive, Muharemovic switched the car through three modes which can be selected based on what the driver wants and what the traffic situation entails.
The first is Driver Support mode and forward-collision and lane-departure warning, blind-spot detection and automatic emergency braking. Think of it as a hyper-aware nanny keeping watch on your surroundings while you’re still in control.
Continental’s self-driving Passat has logged enough miles to get Nevada’s dedicated autonomous vehicle license plate, complete with infinity symbol. | Photo: Continental
The second is Semi-Automated mode, which adds active cruise control (ACC) that keeps the car in pace with the vehicle ahead and can bring the car to a complete stop.
Finally, there’s a Highly Automated mode that adds full-speed ACC with an automatic-resume function that uses free-space detection and side-sensing. This is the one we’re looking forward to.
In fully automated mode, Muharemovic completely removed his hands from the steering wheel and foot from the pedals. At one point he turned around for several seconds to talk to passengers in the backseat. He had a casualness that comes from getting used to the technology over thousands a miles and a steadfast faith in the systems he helped create.