All You Need To Know About Autonomous Car
Cars are a great invention. New models with surprising features and appealing interior and exterior are being introduced to the public each year. But who would have thought that autonomous or self-driving vehicles would be on the road one day?
Yes, these amazing cars are now on the road and being tested across North America. And it won’t be long until they will be sold to private consumers. Intrigued? Here is all you need to know about self-driving cars:
What Is an Autonomous Car?
Also known as a self-driving car, robo-car, or driverless car, an autonomous vehicle is an automobile that can sense its environment and move safely with zero to little human input. It comes with sensors like inertial measurement units, lidar, sonar, radar, odometry, and GPS to perceive its environment. It also has an advanced control system that helps identify appropriate navigation paths, including relevant signage and obstacles.
The bottom line is, an autonomous vehicle could go to just about anywhere that a regular car can go, and the presence of a human passenger is not even required at all.
How Does It Work?
Like what we have said above, an autonomous car comes with a variety of sensors that are situated in different parts. It utilizes this, plus machine learning systems, actuators, powerful processors, and complex algorithms to execute software.
Through the sensors, the autonomous car is able to create a map of its surroundings. It can monitor the presence and position of nearby vehicles. The video cameras, on the other hand, help detect traffic lights, pedestrians, road signs, and many more.
The light detection and ranging (Lidar) sensors play a vital role in measuring distances, identifying lane markings, and detecting road edges. The wheels have ultrasonic sensors, too, that detect curbs and other cars when parking.
All this sensory input will then be processed by sophisticated software and then sends instructions to the actuators of the car.
What Are the Benefits?
A lot of people believe that autonomous cars will significantly help in transforming the way we live and work. The elderly, as well as people with physical disabilities, will become more independent. If you forgot something at home and you can’t drive back, you can simply send your self-driving car. It can even take your pet to its vet’s appointment.
The benefits of autonomous cars also include:
Reduces Traffic Deaths
With more self-driving cars on the road someday, it is predicted that there would be a huge reduction in traffic deaths. That’s because this special type of vehicle would eliminate ‘human error’ that could lead to accidents. According to studies, robo-cars can reduce traffic fatalities by 90 percent!
Drops Harmful Emissions
With efficient driving patterns and limited human interaction with driving, it is expected that harmful emissions will be reduced as well through the use of autonomous cars. Repeated braking and acceleration will be avoided, which will then improve aerodynamics.
Reduces Traffic Congestion
Self-driving cars have the ability to speed up traffic because they can keep a buffer between them and the other vehicles in front of them. This helps avoid frequent braking. Overall, self-driving cars can improve traffic by 35 percent.
Are There Challenges?
Just like anything else, autonomous cars also come with challenges or disadvantages. For one, they are more expensive than traditional cars. How many people can afford them? Not all. Experts say, though, that the price will probably go down after several years.
Another disadvantage is the possibility of glitches, and these could affect safety and security. Take note that even the most sophisticated and carefully programmed machine on earth could have a faulty code. They could also be prone to hacking.
Lastly, autonomous cars may leave people with fewer job opportunities. Yes, artificial intelligence is amazing, but it is taking over the roles and responsibilities of human beings.
When to Expect Autonomous Cars to Come Out?
Several companies are testing their driverless cars as of the moment. In fact, there are still a lot of debates around when people can actually expect to see autonomous vehicles on the road and be available to private consumers.
Looking at the things that autonomous cars can do, we can’t help but be impressed. Yes, they, too, come with disadvantages, but the benefits that they offer will definitely make life a lot easier – thanks to technological advancements. But the question as to when we would be able to see them on the roads for real is still something that isn’t very clear up to date.