You may be used to being driven around by a chauffeur or a taxi-driver. But, what if you were told you just need to sit in your car and instruct it with the address to your destination. The car will drive you to your destination on its own. Unbelievable, isn’t it ?
Well, there are many projects going around the world trying to make driverless cars a reality. Google has placed millions at stake to make its self-driving cars project a success. Let us have a look at some of the grand ideas put across by various projects that will change the face of urban transportation around the world.
What is Self-Driving Car Technology ?
The self-driving car is all about creating driverless cars. They are also known as autonomous or automated cars. The self-driving car technology has arrived and many companies are ready to test their cars on the road.
Why Does Self-Driving Car Matter ?
Why is everyone so gung-ho about self-driving car technology? Well, anyone irrespective of his or her driving abilities can drive around safely and easily. So, you no longer need to be a driving master. Just sit in your car and allow it to drive itself to your destination.
This may not be a big deal for an able-bodied person. But, the aged, visually impaired, hearing impaired, even children who are old enough to reach school on their own will benefit greatly traveling in a self-driving car.
You no longer have to worry about the taxi-driver driving you to your home at night. You can be safe and secure in a self-driven car that will drive around with accuracy. You see, 94% of automobile accidents in the U.S. occur due to human error.
How Does a Self-Driving Car Work ?
Well, a self-driving car is designed such that it can navigate safely through a street full of traffic. These cars will have sensors that can detect objects that are as far as two football fields away. And this sensor can detect objects, not from just one, but all possible directions. These objects can include a lamppost, motorcyclists, other cars and automobiles on the road, pedestrians as well as animals trying to cross the road. Even if you have a rogue bird on your path, the sensor will easily detect it.
You see, the car will drive around just like any car with a driver. According to the Google self-driving car project data, the car will be continuously asking questions such as:
- Where am I ?
- What are the objects around me ?
- What is going to happen ?
- What should the car do ?
The car has a built-in map to help it determine its location in the world. So, it knows which lane it is on, which street, which city and which country. With the help of the sensors, it will detect all objects around it. The car will get all information about these objects such as height, size, shape, movement pattern, etc. This way it will know if the object is stationary or in motion. It could also note the presence of a huge bus ahead or a cyclist peddling.
With this information, the car will predict if the cyclist will continue to move ahead or the bus will remain stationary at the bus stop. The software within the car will then help it increase or decrease its speed or even bring it to a halt if needed.
Which Companies are at the Forefront of Developing Self-Driving Car Technology ?
Many companies are trying to build the perfect self-driving car accessible to the public. Some of the top most companies running this project include:
Google Driverless Car
They have set up this project since 2009. Google is using this technology in Toyota Prius and Lexus models. However, Google is quite clear that it won’t market its vehicles as of now. They are building these cars just for learning purposes. When they are successful in building the best software, they will think about collaborating with some biggies to bring it into production.
They have been testing driverless cars in California since 2014. Recently, Mercedes-Benz revealed the F015 Luxury in Motion driverless car in Jan 2015. However, the company has no plans to market the F015 as of now.
They have been testing this concept since October 2013. They are planning to commercialize self-driving car technology gradually by the year 2020.
So Can We Hope to See a Self-Driving Car in the Near Future ?
Self-driving cars are a reality today. Nutonomy has come up with the world’s first consumer trial of autonomous car cabs in Singapore. Their cabs are already picking up customers in a Singapore business park. All the customer has to do is book a ride using an app by Nutonomy. Once they hail a cab, a Mitsubishi i-Miev or Renault Zoe will zoom them to their destination safely.
Uber too has announced it will roll out self-driving taxis in Pittsburg by the end of August. If these trials are successful, it will lead to a beginning of a new era.
Self-Driving Cars Will Change the Way We Commute
Self-driving cars are the future. Soon, you will be able to ride on autonomous shuttles in your city. Not just taxis and buses, even private cars could go autonomous. The need for a steering wheel, brake, gear, etc. will become obsolete. Some even hope that self-driving cars will reduce the carbon emissions largely. They could run on rechargeable batteries bring down emissions to zero.
The concern regarding these cars is the high price and safety concerns. It is important to understand who will be held responsible in case of a self-driven car and a human driven car collision. Soon, people may opt for a self-driven car over public transport and this may increase the number of vehicles on the road. Parking problems, traffic jams, and loss of human touch are some of the drawbacks of a self-driving car.
Eventually, self-driving cars will be the future. We need to understand how the community will benefit from this unique technology and overcome the other hassles of self-driving car technology.
Guest Author: Arjun Ullas is the admin and editor of RootOfIncome – A professional blog for online marketers, webmasters, and bloggers which include all new trending and best online marketing tools. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google plus to get updated.