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Autonomous Vehicle

Updated on April 15, 2017

What is the need of these vehicles?

As we all know that many road accidents occur annually and of course many people also die in these accidents.

Some occur while driving on highways while some occur when a pedestrian crosses the road, and there many other. So, what was the alternative; creating a vehicle which could drive on its own and stop when some obstacle comes in its path. This could reduce the number of accidents and hence save people's lives.

Different areas in which a autonomous vehicle can be classified.

There are 6 levels of classifying a autonomous vehicle :-

  1. Level 0 - The automated software system doesn't have control over the vehicle, but may issue warnings.
  2. Level 1 - The automated software system has certain features such as automated steering, but the driver must be ready to take the control at any point of time.
  3. Level 2 - The driver is obliged to take control in case the automated software system fails.
  4. Level 3 - On highways, the driver can rely on the automated software system, but must be ready to take control.
  5. Level 4 - No driver attention required. Outside safe environment; the car automatically parks itself at the side of road.
  6. Level 5 - No human interference required at any point of time. The automated software system drives the car to the desired location and is capable of making its own decisions.

Technology used

The experiment of making autonomous vehicle had started in early 1920s, but still the work is in development. The cars are ready but the automated software system is still not upto mark. The car software engineers are working hard to build a fully reliant software.

The modern autonomous vehicles use Bayesian Simultaneous localization and Mapping Algorithms.


The first experiment done was in early 1920s, till 1950 the car was not fully functional. Many more test were conducted and a fully functional autonomous car was made in 1980.

The funniest thing is that I am talking about it almost a century after the car had been built.

And the worst thing is that a century has passed but the manufacturers are still not able to build a fully autonomous car.

1920s Car

Today's Car

Advantages and Disadvantages

As everything has pros and cons, these cars also have certain pros and cons

Pros :-

  1. Reduced number of traffic collisions
  2. Reduced labor cost
  3. No need of traffic police
  4. Can take its own decisions to take passenger on the desired location.
  5. The artificial intelligence is capable of taking decisions in emergency situations such as illness of a person during the journey.

Cons :-

  1. No software reliance.
  2. Artificial intelligence is not capable of taking decisions in chaotic areas.
  3. Road infrastructure needs changes to run these new cars.
  4. Loss in jobs of people involved in public transport services and traffic police.
  5. These cars are prone to hacking.

Final Words

The autonomous car development has taken over a century to complete and we still don't know how long will it take, but the manufacturers know the public is in a great demand of these cars; so they are trying their best.

Many company officials have said that these cars would be on road for public by year 2020.

What do you think, till which year these cars would be on road?

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      Prakhar Sethi 11 months ago

      I agree with your point and it's absolutely correct. Countries like USA will have these cars much more earlier than the countries like India who are still developing.

    • WheelScene profile image

      WheelScene 11 months ago from U.S.A.

      Prakhar, I couldn't agree more! USA has an advanced road system. What about in a country like India or Mexico that is still building its road systems? How will an autonomous car work on a dirt road or with lots of different types of traffic (bus, car, truck, bicycle, walking, animals, road hazards etc) It makes it much harder to make a car fully autonomous. So I think it will take longer than we think.

    • profile image

      Prakhar Sethi 11 months ago

      Hi, thanks for your feedback. I will try to improve my English. According to me it will be very difficult for autonomous vehicles to come in existence because not only in USA but also in other countries, people are passionate about driving. So according to me these cars should also have a manual drive.

    • WheelScene profile image

      WheelScene 11 months ago from U.S.A.

      Very good post! I really liked the picture of the 1920's autonomous car! You give a good breakdown of the history and development of autonomous cars. When do you think driver-less cars will hit the road? I think it will be hard to force people to give up the freedom to drive. It is part of the culture in the USA. Only recommendation I have is proof read, there are a couple grammar mistakes, but this is a really good article! You can make it great!