Back in October 2012, there were rumours of the self driving car emerging into our society. There have been self-driving cars in the past but nothing has been launched to the public yet. One article, titled “Will driverless cars mean computer crashes?”, suggested that the the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers believes cars will become so automated that drivers will not need a driving licence by 2040. Furthermore, it believes that cars with the capability of driving automatically to any location are set to become the norm into our society. The article continues to suggest that as an estimated 90% of current car accidents are thought to be caused by human error, it could potentially boost road safety to take people out of control.
Recently, the number of companies investing into autonomous driving technology is quite high and includes big names such as Volkswagen, Volvo, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes.
Psychologist Dr Hole expressed scepticism, pointing out that ”The reality of the situation is that driving environments are very complex and they involve all kinds of decisions to be made – from strategic levels to the operational level of collision avoidance. Human beings have their faults but are extremely good information processors, much better than any machine at hazard protection.”
A JD Power research survey found that 37% of vehicle owners aged 18 to 37 would probably buy a vehicle capable of fully autonomous driving. Those who love driving, however, are not prepared to start removing their hands from the steering wheel any time soon.
The most important question is what would happen if the technology system of the car was to fail and the person behind the wheel did not know how to drive? As driving is such a huge responsibility, it is reckless to allow humans to be behind the wheel without some form of driving experience.
So why all this now if the article was written in October last year? Well, a recent story, posted on January 4th 2013 portrays the Toyota sneak preview of the self-drive car.
The Lexus which is made by car maker Toyota, is revealed in on a a video clip showing the safety features of the car. This new technology contains video cameras to monitor the roads, the surroundings and also the driver. It’s even said that the vehicle can communicate with other cars! This new technology may seem far advanced but it is slowly being introduced into our community. The aim of the car is for there to be zero-collisions and to complete eradicate the chance of crashes.
As there are so many other factors that could get in the way, is it safe to rely on technology? According to Toyota manufacturers, this “advanced active safety research vehicle” prototype uses ITS and existing Toyota technology to observe whether the driver is awake! Similarly, the technology is able to keep the car on the road, and to stop at traffic signals by detecting whether the traffic light is red or green. Additionally, the car will obtain a series of optical beacons on the roadside where obstacles and pedestrians are identified.
With the self driving car becoming legal in certain states in America, what are your views on the matter? What do you think about the new technology? Would you feel comfortable with yourself or others autonomous driving?