Mt. Vernon Register-News

Features

June 5, 2013

New Acura RLX can steer, brake, accelerate on its own

(Continued)

The big breakthrough is that it essentially drives itself, in a limited fashion.

It starts with a particularly refined version of adaptive cruise control, which uses radar to keep your car a set distance from the car in front of you. You'll automatically speed up, slow down and even come to a complete stop if necessary, all without driver input.

That's cool, but it's hardly revolutionary.

Acura's "Lane Keeping Assist System" is more innovative. It uses a camera to see the stripes in the road and will gently nudge the steering wheel left and right to keep your car centered in the lane.

If you're adventurous, you can take your hands off the wheel and let the car steer itself, even around gentle curves, for up to 15 seconds or so. If it senses you're not providing any steering input after that, the system will shut itself down as a safety measure.

As long as the road is clearly striped and you keep your hands very gently resting on the steering wheel, though, the car can essentially drive itself indefinitely. It's remarkable.

In fact, it's the most serene experience I've ever had driving in stop-and-go, rush-hour traffic. Turn on the RLX's adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping system, and you can basically relax while the car does the work — starting and stopping with traffic and keeping itself in the lane.

Even for someone who loves to drive, it's nice having the option not to do so occasionally.

Derek Price is an automotive columnist for CNHI News Service. Contact him at carcolumn@gmail.com.

Text Only
Features
  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.09.32 PM.png VIDEO: Stars react to Robin Williams' death

    Prior to the premiere of “The Expendables 3” in Los Angeles, several movie stars shared their thoughts on the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • job-fair.jpg Job market tilting toward workers

    The balance of power in the job market is shifting slowly toward employees from employers.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • ruralpoverty.jpg How rural poverty is changing: Your fate is increasingly tied to your town

    The town of Las Animas takes about five minutes to drive through when the one stoplight is blinking yellow, as usual. It's easy to miss but hard to escape. Just ask Frank Martinez.

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dartmouth.jpg Break the college cartel

    Ask liberals why college is getting so expensive, and they'll probably tell you it's a case of government neglect. Ask conservatives the same question, and they'll tell you the opposite.

    August 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 3.43.11 PM.png Your brain helps you judge a face before you even see it

    In a new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers report that the amygdala — a part of the brain associated with decision making, memory and emotion — plays a part in telling us who to trust almost instantly.

    August 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140805-AMX-PORK5.jpg 'Baconholics' undeterred by 30-year high pork prices

    With images of pigs and barbecued meats tattooed on his left calf, Brian Polak is doing what he can to cope with the highest price of bacon in three decades. The 41-year-old self-proclaimed "baconholic" now often cures his own at home to help reduce costs.

    August 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140802-AMX-MARKETING021 (1).jpg Controversial Amway-style sales approach draws greater scrutiny

    Enrique Martinez didn't like chocolate, but he was eating as many as 10 pieces a day, drinking chocolate protein shakes and rubbing a chocolate-based skin cream on his face. The chocolate came from MXI Corp., which uses a controversial business model called multilevel marketing -- companies without a sales force that recruit their customers to sell products, often in bulk to other customers, who might in turn sell to other customers, and so on.

    August 4, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks