Self-Driving Cars - More Comfort and Safety, Less Commute Time and Accidents
Technology can be a very wonderful thing. It can make our world a better place and it can save lives. One invention looks like it could save thousands of lives every day once it is finally finished. That invention is the self-driving car, or the autonomous automobile. Sound like science fiction? Twenty years ago you might have been right. Today however, driverless cars are being tested by major companies on today’s roads. These cars are just prototypes, but they have shown a lot of promise. Some predict everyone will be driving driverless cars in twenty years.
Once we can implement a system where self-driving cars can navigate our cities and highways, we will begin to see the most important reason why these autonomous autos are a great idea. The safety factor alone could affect millions. That’s millions of people who will not die in auto accidents due to unsafe road conditions, or drunk driving. Just that factor alone makes this technology the most important we can develop.
The technology that will power the driverless cars is already being worked on by notable companies like Mercedes-Benz, GM, Google, Toyota, and a whole slew of others including some of the most famous universities around the world. Most of these prototypes function on the same premise. These cars are fitted with various sensors that allow them to “see” things around them like the direction of the road, current road and traffic conditions, and also other moving objects like cars, animals, and even people.
These cars will also have software programs that allow them to find a destination and then navigate to it using the safest and shortest route. The working prototypes being developed already have the capability to move between several selected points that are stored in the computer memory. While at first this might not seem like a safety feature, think of the hassle and stress that will be eliminated when everyone knows where they are going and can get there safely.
The developers of this technology also envision a network where driverless cars can communicate with each other and also receive instructions and updates as they travel. This network would work much like wireless internet, and would probably use the same communication infrastructure, since it is already there. This would help make the roads safer because the vehicles could share information about traffic conditions with other nearby vehicles, allowing them to avoid potential hazards.
There are a lot of potential benefits to self-driving cars. We could save countless lives, we could cut down on things like gridlock and road rage. These cars can help make people’s lives more productive by giving them more time to work or do other important things instead of having to worry about driving the car.
Yes there are still a lot of potential problems. Things like computer glitch take on a whole new meaning when you are sailing along down the highway. Not to worry though, engineers have considered that possibility. Driverless cars will probably also have a manual option that allows a person to take control of the car if necessary.
Well whether you like them or not, self-driving cars may very well be coming to a road near you in the next twenty years. It is hard to deny the safety factors that these driverless cars bring to the roads. A lot of people will rush to embrace this new technology. But just as many will try to hang on to the cars they have as long as possible. This is why self-driving cars are probably going to have to learn to function alongside the cars and trucks that still require us to get them there. The work is still going on, and it does look promising. Time will tell how successful the driverless car will be, but here’s betting it will be a lot safer.