When you think of autonomous driving and what it will mean for the future are you excited or frightened? Regardless of how you feel about it, this future of driving seems inevitable and eventually will be a reality. As you head out to your vehicle to go to work or to make a trip to the store, think about all the different aspects of driving that you encounter during even a short drive. You could have children playing nearby and need to take evasive action to make sure you don’t run them over, you might need to slow for traffic that has gotten backed up or you might hear the sirens of an oncoming emergency vehicle.
When you own a newer model vehicle you want to be able to enjoy newer features and know that you can have the right way to get the job done even if that job is only as simple as opening the door and starting the engine. The use of items that are called proximity keys has made it possible to leave the keys in your pocket or your purse and get going on the road without ever taking the key out and putting it in the door to open, pushing a button on the fob or turning the key inside.
From the time we’re young, we’re taught that competition is a good thing. We compete in school to get better grades so that we can go to a good college, we compete in athletics to try and win games and show off our prowess on the court and on the field, we compete at nearly everything from eating to science and all that comes in between. If you watch a room full of people for a little while, it’s likely you’re going to see some form of competition going on at all times whether it’s being able to tell the best stories or being able to drink the most during the time spent in the evening together.
While the project that was the Google self-driving car is now headed to the new company called Waymo, it will still be a sibling to Google under the Alphabet umbrella of companies. This car has logged more miles than Uber or Lyft combined when it comes to self-driving with over 2.3 million miles on the road and a large number of impressive situations that have made it possible for these cars to have brought back data that is able to better understand human driving and make changes based upon what many drivers will do on the road.
Tesla has famously thumbed their collective noses at the marketplace and have not only sold their vehicles in a way that’s different from what we’re used to but also added tech updates over the air on a regular basis. Autopilot is a semi-autonomous driving system that’s been so close to a fully autonomous system that many owners of Tesla models have recorded themselves doing anything but driving. This doesn’t give a warm and fuzzy feeling to other drivers on the road, but the system is impressive and is the closest thing we have right now to a fully autonomous system.
The technology is on the way and automakers have invested huge sums of money into the technology that will take away your enjoyment of driving. By 2020 we expect to see cars that are full autonomous, not semi-autonomous like the current Tesla Model S and Model X, which means these cars, will be able to drive themselves provided all conditions are met for the system to work properly. Because this technology is coming there are many surveys that have taken place to learn how we as the public feel about a car that can drive itself wherever you need to go.
The claim of every manufacturer is that their cars will be safer when the car is driven autonomously. Google has logged nearly 1.3 million miles in their self-driving cars since 2009 and has the most miles so far with relatively little error. Even so, what will it take for us to trust that the vehicles being developed to actually be autonomous vehicles? Will we need miles on the tires to show the car is safe or are we ready to nearly blindly trust that the technology installed will be adequate enough to ensure our safety while driving on any road?