Self-driving cars are no longer the cars of imagination. Self-driving cars can be found on our roads alongside cars with drivers at the wheel today. Although these cars might not carry passengers without human supervision, still they bring big changes in road safety and the car production industry.
There is an autopilot system that uses graphics through video game technology that will control cars by changing lanes or making turns at intersections automatically to adapt to traffic movements.
Self Driving Technology:
Self-driving cars are set to begin appearing on Britain’s motorways for the first time this week in a landmark test of autonomous vehicles on public roads in one of the world’s leading countries for motoring. The Government is due to announce it has approved three schemes where cars will be driven autonomously on motorways for the first time, under a permit scheme launched by the Department for Transport last year.
UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) has developed an onboard computer which is installed in cars to sense other cars around them and indicate when to change lanes or turn off onto slip roads. Vehicles fitted with this technology can travel safely at speeds of up to 70mph.
Daimler, the German carmaker, has developed an autopilot system using graphics through video game technology that will control cars by changing lanes or making turns at intersections automatically to adapt to traffic movements. For example, if a car is coming towards it on a lane where overtaking is not allowed, it will just slow down until it is safe to pass or move over. The cars will also be able to perform an emergency stop when needed and brake automatically if there is a hazard up ahead.
The cars which are under development navigate by comparing data from cameras, lasers and onboard sensors with information stored in mapping systems like GPS technology. As cars approach a junction, they receive information about the speed and position of other cars near them. If it is clear, the car moves forward but if another car is approaching the system calculates how much time one has before they reach each other and decides whether it can safely carry straight on or wait for a gap in the traffic to emerge.
A fleet of test cars began road-testing around Stockholm three years ago using portable devices attached to the cars’ wing mirrors which communicate with roadside beacons to keep track of their location.
Self-driving cars are being rolled out in Sweden by the manufacturer Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover is working on cars that can detect pedestrians and cyclists, while Ford has said it will launch a self-driving car without a steering wheel or pedals within five years. The cars are being hailed as potentially ‘safer than humans’ because they are programmed to obey all traffic laws and anticipate possible collisions – for instance, allowing more room when overtaking cyclists or braking earlier at corners. It was reported that 90 per cent of road accidents were due to human error and 1.3 million people died in road accidents globally last year.
Although these cars might not carry passengers without human supervision, still they bring big changes in road safety and the car production industry.
Google Self Driving Cars:
Ford and Google are two major companies working on self-driving cars at this point in time. While it seems like things will take some time to get fully implemented, they’ll probably be very widespread before we know it.
These cars can go faster than our cars and will eventually eliminate traffic jams according to experts because they won’t need to stop as often as we do. They could also decrease pollution and potentially decrease insurance costs for people with good driving records.
Early adopters, owners of cars equipped with the autopilot feature by Tesla Motors, are now getting their cars back from service after an upgrade to 8.0 (or “Otto”) which looks to improve the self-driving features even more. Unfortunately, there were a few bumps in the road during this newest version rollout and a few owners found their cars unable to go into autopilot mode at all.
The first Tesla cars capable of being driven on autopilot went on sale just over two years ago – despite some doubts that the technology would actually work. Since then there have been several software updates, including 7.1 10 months ago and most recently 8.0, released earlier this month. In October last year concerns were raised by some owners after reports of cars crashing while on autopilot, but no official investigations were carried out.
The first cars to be equipped with the autopilot feature were built starting in September 2014, and at the time it was only available as an option priced at $2,500 (€2,297). This included what Tesla Motors calls “Autopilot Convenience Features”, which are most active when cars are driving themselves – including automatic lane changing and self-parking. The cars also have enhanced safety features like forwarding collision warning and blind-spot detection systems.
Tesla cars sold today come with hardware capable of level 3 autonomous driving (where cars can drive themselves but may need human input under certain conditions), but cars sold today still require drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.
Self-driving cars have been a topic of much discussion, but now self-driving cars are being created and tested as viable options for those who cannot drive. Autonomous cars will improve safety on the roadways by decreasing car accidents caused by human error. In 2015 for example, roughly 35,000 people died in America because of car crashes involving cars driven by humans.
Though there is still work to be done before cars become fully autonomous and available to the public, companies like Google and Tesla Motors plan to release self-driving cars between 2020 and 2030. Google expects their self-driving cars to be completely safe: they pledged to make 100% of their cars accident-free (this means no human driving would cause an accident) by 2020. Instead of cars, the cars will be like other forms of public transportation. Once cars are fully autonomous and become available to the general public, there is expected to be a decline in cars on the roadways; especially since self-driving cars can drive nonstop.
It would be possible for individuals to share cars instead of each owning their own personal cars, which could reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Although this idea seems great in theory, many people still want to own their own cars. There are privacy concerns too: if someone were to get into an accident with one of these cars, it would be possible for Google or Tesla Motors (the creators) to know exactly how they were driving because all self-driving cars would have built-in GPS.
Self-driving cars will improve life for many people in America because this technology will help those who cannot drive, help cars drive safer and less stressful, reduce traffic congestion and decrease CO2 emissions. Self-driving cars are coming to our roadways soon.