From Google’s car crash to this month’s TIME Magazine cover story, looks like self-driven cars are no more a hush-hush! Most major automakers, including Google, are working on autonomous driving technologies. Google is currently testing a prototype that replaces the driver completely and hopes to bring this to the market by 2020. If Google is almost ready, how can Apple be far behind, right? The Guardian reported that Apple was building a self-driving car too and is on a hunt for locations to test it.
Here are five things you must know about self driving cars-
1. Autonomous driving is here and might just take over
“We’re going to end up with complete autonomy, and I think we will have complete autonomy in approximately two years.” says Elon Musk , CEO Tesla Motors. Tesla’s controversial autopilot, which rolled out in October last year, the new code offers coordinated sensors, cameras, GPS and controls which also means computer assisted parallel parking, steering and lane changing on highways, and an upgraded warning system for side collisions. This upgrade makes it enough to allow for what’s called – autonomous driving.
General Motors and Mercedes-Benz will also be seen entering this market in the next few years. The good news being, 4 U.S. states have legalized driver-less/ self-driven cars on public roads and 16 more states plan to join in.
So wait, you can read a book or brush your teeth while driving? WOAH!
2. Emergencies could be a big problem
Studies show that when a human is fully disengaged from driving it takes at least 10 seconds to get the driver fully re-engaged, which can be a big problem if an emergency arises in which a computer-controlled car needs to revert to human control.
Well, if only emergencies came with such a notice period!
3. Self driven cars are definitely superior drivers
That’s because the computer doesn’t get distracted by the kids, the dirty glass or the idiot who just changed his lane without a signal! Nor does it say yes to an extra glass of sangria or use the red light to look at Snapchat.
It’s on point with directions, keeping an eye out for other cars, maintaining speed and hence, fuel efficiency.
A computer has got to be better than human drivers! Duh!
4. What can substitute the understanding of facial expressions and human hand gestures?
There are always going to be busy intersections or intersections without lights or low traffic control signs. These points are a concern for any autonomous vehicle. At present- eye contact, facial expressions or body language can be substituted for missing signs.
This means self driven cars vehicles must also learn to recognize human expressions and gestures. Wish them luck with that!
5. Sensor redundancy is an ongoing concern
This could be anything from a sensor that stops working to a layer of snow that temporarily blinds the camera. Audi is hence working on an indicator to tell drivers when a sensor is blocked by the weather or other circumstances.
Because component failure could always be a possibility and a very likely one!
Autonomous vehicles are here and they seem to be changing a lot of things. Do you think India will ever be ready to welcome a self-driving car? Comment and let us know your views!