The Evolution of Driver-less Cars

in StemSociallast month

Self-driving cars are undoubtedly the latest and most intriguing transformation in the transportation industry. Have you ever thought of a vehicle that enables you to do all you can't with the regular vehicle? Like munch on your favorite snacks without having to control the steering at intervals? Or surf the internet comfortably knowing that your car isn't bumping into an oncoming vehicle, or driving off the tracks? Or read your favorite book, catch up with your favorite series while your car drives you in the chaos of traffic after a long day? This is a possibility that is set to change completely, the world of mobility. One that will herald a new era in the world of transportation.

This game-changing innovation is already being developed by the smartest of tech-inspired minds and may soon be available for use. Leading tech companies like Tesla and Google are exploring the prospects of launching several self-driving vehicles on the streets of various countries across the globe.


By Steve Jurvetson - https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/8190954243/in/photostream, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23385799

In recent times, the innovation of self-driving vehicles has been making the rounds. The cutting-edge technology design is stirring up controversy in the transportation industry. While a host of tech-inclined individuals deem self-driving vehicles the beginning of a transport system packed with tons of benefits, some others consider it a threat to the conventional transportation system and a terrifying system.

How Does The Self-Driving Technology Work?

It'll be interesting to have an adept understanding of how self-driving cars work. As intriguing as it sounds, self-driving vehicles have long lived in our imaginations since the Jetsons, and gradually, the thought of driving in a better world is deemed feasible by the inventors of this fascinating technology. The idea has been wired to work with and for the benefit of users and their environments.

Driverless cars often have different levels. While some of these levels share the control of the vehicle with the owner, some require little or no human intervention at all. Some have no control over the vehicle but can notify the driver of possible hazards such as colliding with an oncoming vehicle.

It might seem downright terrifying to see cars moving without being driven by anyone. However, we must understand that technology has the propensity to totally change our lives and improve the way we live them. And it is only a matter of years before driverless cars usher the world into a novel way of commuting.

Self-driving vehicles leverage a wide range of amazing technologies such as cameras, ultrasound, radar, and radio antennas to navigate safely on our roads. These technologies employed are used in line with one another. Each one helps the driverless system be credible and robust.

Driverless cars formulate and maintain a map of their environments based on diverse sensors wired in different parts of the vehicle. Radar sensors closely monitor and take note of nearby vehicles. The cameras scrutinize traffic lights and road signs, as well as track other cars, and look out for pedestrians. Lidar (light detection and ranging) sensors eject pulses of light off the vehicle's surroundings to gauge distances, inspect road edges, and recognize lane markings. Ultrasonic sensors in the wheels of self-driving cars can easily detect curbs and other vehicles when parking.

Benefits Of Self-Driving Vehicles

The technology behind self-driving cars gives us access to unlimited convenience and improved quality of life. The scenarios are endless. It exceeds the convenience of having to do other things while your car drives you. The benefits span the user, the industry, and also the environment.

In most parts of the world, owning a car is just as important as every other basic necessity. However, more cars mean an increased population and road congestion. Hence, the need for infrastructure upgrades becomes unavoidable.
Expanding freeways poses the next step in a bid to reduce congestion and accommodate more vehicles. However, the need for broader freeways will always arise as the number of cars and population grows.

But self-driving cars could drastically beat down the cost of infrastructure spending. Here's how. Driverless cars can control traffic without human intervention. This will mean less congested traffic and lessen the need for spending funds on infrastructure upgrades.

Self-driving vehicles will also benefit the environment a great deal. Regular vehicles emit toxic fumes from car exhausts like carbon monoxide, which arises from the total combustion of fuel and could increase the risk of heart disease, reduce productivity, cause difficulty in breathing, and even death. With driverless cars, there would be less to worry about.

As an eco-friendly technology design, driverless cars will also reduce carbon dioxide CO2 by over 80% thereby making the environment much safer and less toxic, and polluted.

Self-driving cars will also reduce the rate of accidents in most parts of the world. According to a transport survey, over 90% of road accidents and hazards are caused mostly by distracted drivers.

A car configured to take complete precautions, and pay full attention to its surroundings. Unlike humans, driverless cars can not get distracted by anything. They won't drive faster than they have been designed to. They don't get drunk or take life-threatening risks that result in unprecedented accidents.

This guarantees the complete safety of anyone in it and other vehicles around it. They are expected to be safer than regular vehicles and curtail the risks of accidents by over 40%.

Bottom Line

Driverless cars have the full potential to see massive adoption over the next few decades. These vehicles are rapidly going to dramatically change mobility and walkability. Their convenience, cost, safety, and eco-friendly nature amongst other enticing factors, parade them as a technology that will be indispensable. However it plays out in the near future, whether or not it threatens to put a couple of industries out of business, this is one technology revolution the world can not ignore. It is going to be the fastest rising and biggest innovation history has ever seen.

One thing is certain. Old technology companies in the transportation industry will risk being flipped over by driverless cars. One way out is to evolve or accept defeat from the ubiquitous innovation.

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I agree that driver-less cars have tremendous benefits but I think we are still in early phase of development. There are many models already in testing. I will only be mass adapted if the self-driving AI technology is flaw-proof. This is an interesting read!

Thank you. Like I pointed out to @harferri, technological evolution is a continuous process. It will be perfected with time.

The weakness of car artificial intelligence when dealing with bad weather, loss of signals and detecting small objects, but I believe as you said a few decades will be the future of transportation with all its conveniences, you write well and easy to understand .. very interest your opinion 👍

Thank you @harferri. Yes, driverless cars have their limitations in terms of what you highlighted and even more. But we all know that evolution is a continuous thing. It will be perfected as time goes on.

great article, one other thing I thought about when reading this article, is what happens to car insurance? will this be obsolete, I wonder how car insurance companies are positioning themselves for the driverless car revolution?

I have seen the driverless function of Tesla in videos and I must admit, it is an insane invention. I am sure there will be limitations to this function. Will it work effectively even in the busiest of cities? Remains to the seen

Yea, it seems Tesla and Elon Musk is leading the charge both at the front of driverless and electrical vehicle technology. The Tesla model is really awesome! In my own opinion, the driverless function should be effective and adaptive to every situation. I will like to find out

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