Imagine being able to set your motorhome to drive through the boring bits while you snooze, arriving refreshed and ready at a pre-programmed photo stop. Or never having to think twice about driving after a long flight, or which side of the road to be on
Sounds like science fiction but anyone who’s been paying attention to driverless cars will not be surprised to hear that the reality of driverless motorhomes is coming – and the Erwin Hymer Group is leading the way.
True to its tradition as an industry pioneer, the Erwin Hymer Group is a trialling cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technology on the roads in Ontario, Canada.
The company is believed to be the first RV manufacturer in the world with a permit to test automated vehicles, having recently been approved by the Canadian government to be part of a pilot project over the next decade. (Other participants in the open-road trial are the University of Waterloo and Blackberry QNX.)
SmartRV is proud to be associated with such a ground-breaking company. ‘All of our brands, Bürstner, Carado and HYMER, are part of the Erwin Hymer Group,’ says Managing Director John Managh. ‘They’re always at the forefront of innovation, assuring our customers of the latest in motorhome technology.’
The Hymer Group is conducting the autonomous tests with a Mercedez-Benz Sprinter van, a deluxe motorhome kitted out with an array of discrete sensors, laser-based radar monitors and GPS technology virtually invisible from the outside.
The vehicles are equipped to assess traffic and Ontario’s challenging weather and road conditions, and can communicate with other driverless vehicles.
While in the words of Rachel Hunter, it won’t happen overnight, Mr Managh says driverless motorhomes certainly will happen. ‘The age of the driver will give way to the age of the passenger,’ he says. ‘The Erwin Hymer Group is renowned for its landmark developments and we know our SmartRV customers appreciate the incredible design and technology that’s already evident in every one of our motorhomes’.