Imagine taking a seat in your car, updating a location in your vehicle’s interface and then letting it drive to your destination while you surf the web, take a nap or read a book. Car manufacturers around the world have been attempting to design the first-ever driverless car.
After nearly three years of frantic activity by engineers, are autonomous cars any nearer becoming a reality? Self-driving cars that you must have seen in many science fiction movies are coming and are expected to change what it’s like to get from point A to point B. If you think these vehicles as nothing more than cars without drivers, you’re way not looking at the bigger picture.
Well, who will need a car with eight airbags and heavy gauge steel if accidents would be so rare? Similarly, a parking spot close to work would not be of that importance if your car can drive you to office, park itself miles away, and come to pick you up later? With self-driving cars, front-facing seats could become an option, not a requirement.
The leading car manufacturers have already begun pouring money into research and many of them promising autonomous cars on the road in the next few years.
Technology already in use!
Car manufacturers have already introduced a few technological innovations in the vehicles. The front-crash prevention system in the car warns drivers of an approaching obstacle and applies the brakes if they don’t react quickly. Self-parking assistant was another feature allowing cars to park their own by sizing up a free spot and automatically steering into it, while the driver having control on the brake and accelerator.
Can autonomous cars drive better than humans?
An autonomous vehicle is a robot programmed to obey all the rules of the road. These cars won’t be distracted by a text message flickering onto a phone, get drunk or drive too fast.
Over majority of the accidents happen today are due to driver’s fault. Self-driving cars are expected to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes. Autonomous vehicles can also detect what humans can’t, especially at night or in low-light conditions and react more quickly to avoid a collision.
Autonomous vehicles are laden with sensors and software that work together to build a complete picture of the road. One key technology that these cars use is light-detecting and ranging (LIDAR) sensor. LIDAR draws a real-time, 3D image of area surrounding the vehicle using millions of lasers. Not just this, radar sensors can also measure the size and the speed at which the objects are moving towards the vehicle. Also, high-definition cameras equipped in the car can read signs and signals.
The Bottom Line
Although the complete adoption of autonomous vehicles will take decades, their convenience and safety will make them indispensable. Car manufacturers who plan ahead; adapt go changes fast enough and aim for the biggest will thrive.