As electric vehicles are slowly taking over the traditional fuel vehicles, the question arises is what next? And we already got the answer for this the ‘self-driving car’ also known as ‘autonomous car’.
Self-driving cars are the cars that are capable of driving to a pre-defined destination without human interference or assistance. Although the cars are still in the developmental stage yet as governments of numerous countries have shown concerns over vehicle safety in self-driving cars.
How self-driving car works?
The whole system works on a complex algorithmic architecture, technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced hardware, software & most importantly a wide range of sensors.
The sensors collect data from surrounding situations such as traffic situations, passing by vehicles, the road turns, obstacles, lane, etc. and send it to the processor & ECUs which in turn controls the vehicle accordingly.
Key technologies supporting self-driving car development?
Following are key technologies that are shaping the future of self-driving cars:
- Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS): ADAS can be considered as a spine of the whole autonomous car project. The technology includes advanced systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Monitoring System.
- Automotive Infotainment System: Infotainment system offers most of the navigational systems required in autonomous cars. These systems are generally GPS based and work using numerous sensors.
Different levels in vehicle automation
|Level 0 (No automation)||The driver is responsible for all the basic tasks.|
|Level 1 (Driver assistance)||Vehicle navigation is controlled by the driver, but driving assist features are included.|
|Level 2 (Partial automation)||The basic vehicle is still controlled by the driver, but the vehicle is capable of doing 2-3 functions simultaneously.|
|Level 3 (Conditional automation)||The driver is required but is not needed to navigate or monitor the environment.|
|Level 4 (High automation)||The vehicle can carry out all driving functions and is ready to take control of navigation.|
|Level 5 ( Full automation)||The ADS system is advanced enough that the vehicle can carry out all driving functions by itself no matter what the conditions are.|
What does the future hold for self-driving cars?
Self-driving cars will basically revolutionize the transportation industry. Mainly, there have been many changes in the auto industry, but the basic formula that the human being guiding a vehicle using a steering wheel and gives all the instructions necessary to operate the car.
Furthermore, newer cars already have self features for some basic things like parking and collision detection and all the auto companies are working hard to deliver vehicles that are capable of advanced navigation without any input from a human driver. Automated driving systems for cars, trucks, and for vans are ways to bring some huge changes and opportunities.
Autonomous Cars & Vehicle Safety
Some reports and experts already suggest that ADS vehicles are much safer than human driving when it comes to performing some driving functions. Firstly, ADS don’t suffer from sleep deprivation and they don’t sleep obviously. Secondly, these vehicles don’t go under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Thirdly, these cars always follow traffic rules and they don’t even get distracted with other pedestrians. These technologies have the wider potential to reduce crashes and accidents.
The data that is available shows that cities in which these cars are running, they have very simple road systems which makes it easy for these technologies and software to operate.
Advantages & Benefits of Self-Driving Cars
Nowadays, people want convenience and improvement in life. The elderly and physically disabled people will be independent. Suppose, your kids forgot a bathing suit and they are in their swimming class, no need to worry the car would just bring the missing items. You can even send your dog to a veterinary appointment or you can even send your children without any worry.
● They reduce traffic congestion.
● They cut transportation cost
● Free up parking, and lots of other usesHaving self-driving cars would also offer people a lot more free time. While many people enjoy driving, the opportunity to get things done, or enjoy leisure time while driving, this could be translated to significant productivity and quality of life or improving self.