Also known as autonomous car, a self-driving car doesn’t need human input to drive on the roads. By utilising GPS, radar, computer vision, and odometry, self-driving cars are able to compile all the information and interpret it to navigate.
Automated cars differ from autonomous cars due to being automatic, as they are run by a machine, and not self-controlled and independent. Several companies, prominently Google, are investing in these technologies and engineering a vehicle anyone can drive regardless of skill.
Google’s Self-Driving Car
An average of 1,000 people a day under 25 years old die in because of car accidents, comprising around 400,0000 every year. By 2030, it’s expected that traffic accident injuries become the world’s fifth main cause for death.
Investing in self-driving vehicle technology, Google’s self-driving car possesses sensors that are able to detect various sized objects that can be as far as two football fields, in every direction. By predicting what pedestrians and objects around the car might do next, it adjusts speed and trajectory in order to avoid collisions and drive safely.
Google’s self-driving car is powered by electric batteries, and its sensors are comprised of lasers, cameras, and radars that function on all directions. Its rounded shape ensures the sensors have a maximised field of view so that its software is able to manoeuvre properly. Back-up systems for functions such as braking, steering, and computing have been designed and continue to be optimised. The interior of the self-driving car is reminiscent of a Science Fiction film; designed for riding and not driving, it provides ultimate comfort.
Self-driving vehicle technology is still in early stages of development, but speculation over its acceptance and worldwide benefits has started a conversation. Human error causes around 93% of traffic accidents, and reducing this number and injuries directly caused by these accidents is vital.
In addition, considering that approximately 1 million of drivers in the UK are over 80 years old, a self-driving car could provide a greater level of independence and safer driving. Managing traffic more efficiently can have a strong and direct impact in the environment, with reduced CO2 emissions.
The security of such technology is vital; cybersecurity is an increasingly more important factor in the modern world, and research and development of safe technologies are underway to ensure the systems can’t be hacked. The road to advanced self-driving technology is a bumpy one, with much research still required.
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