Would you step into a driverless vehicle?
Technology is always evolving and bringing what was once considered science fiction, to life. People have worked to automate everything under the sun for decades. With the invention of GPS, radar, lidar and computer vision, automating vehicles was the next obvious step. But the question remains, would you feel nervous about stepping into an autonomous vehicle like the Google Pod?
Google is just one company that has delved into the technology surrounding the autonomous vehicle. In 2009, they began working to create a self-driving car. After testing the self-driving technology on other vehicles, Google began working on a prototype and released the first version of the Google Pod in 2014.
What are the advantages of autonomous vehicles?
- The broad range of sensors on an autonomous vehicle allows for the vehicle to react more quickly than a human in case of potential hazards.
- Minimizes issues with distracted or aggressive driving.
- Occupants are relieved of the stress of driving and navigation.
- Encourages car sharing with the ability to drop off or pick up passengers near various locations, which also reduces the amount of space needed for parking.
What are some obstacles or problems with autonomous vehicles?
- Software reliability may be an issue.
- The car's navigation system may be susceptible to different weather types.
- The liability for damage is extremely high.
- If a car's computer system becomes compromised, it could cause a dangerous situation for passengers.
The big question: Would you use one?
Obviously, much testing still needs to be done before autonomous vehicles are commonplace. Companies such as Google recognize the importance of safety and have already spent hours testing the Google Pod. Currently, they have safety drivers in each vehicle to make sure the car is working correctly and they have the option of using removable manual controls in case the vehicle malfunctions.
The future of autonomous vehicles will make it easier for many people to get around who may be otherwise homebound. While it may be too soon for you to step into your own driverless vehicle, the technology is on the horizon.