Autonomous Vehicles Closer To Revolutionize Our Driving Experience

November 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Car Safety

According to several news agencies, the autonomous car is closer to become a reality than ever before.

Google has recently unveiled the results of over 300,000 mile tests that showed the vehicle was able to avoid crashes while the driverless car system was being used. The company claimed that one mishap the autonomous vehicles was involved in was reported, however, it only happened because a human driver was at the wheel.

Reports show that the customized Priuses used in the driverless car tests were equipped with radars, GPS systems and even a 3-D camera that is designed to map the road. Traffic signals, pedestrians and even road lanes are captured in real time by these cameras and the information received by these devices is translated into data that is read and understood by the technology in order to keep the vehicle traveling safely.

Now, reports show that Google is not the only company testing this technology. Four other driverless electric vans were tested in 2010 as a result of the VisLab Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge.

This test put the driverless vans under a 8,077-mile drive that turned out successful.

News agencies have indicated that, last month, California was declared the third state in the country to make the practice of occupying a driverless vehicle legal.

The law, however, will only allow a driverless vehicle to be operated if the driver is sitting behind the wheel ready to take over. Nissan has also reported being involved in a test of self-driving prototypes, which involved Nissan Leaf vehicles. The automaker is confident that these self-driving models will be available in 2015. Other companies like Ford, GM, Toyota and BMW are also experimenting with the technology and developing their own system to make vehicles autonomous.

One of the main issues with making this technology available to consumers is its high cost, says the director of the George Washington University’s Transportation Safety and Security Program. According to his statement, in 10 or 15 years chances are that this technology will be used more often exactly because the cost is poised to go down.

At this point, some believe that what companies and lawmakers haven’t taken into account was how this technology may impact the market. Some believe that the autonomous vehicle may alter how industries function. Auto insurance companies and transport companies will be affected and so will steel fabricators, since the vehicles will be considered to be safer, they may not be manufactured with the same materials, which could be one way the industry will find to make these vehicles cheaper to consumers everywhere.

The MIT Media Lab has issued a report indicating that the use of autonomous vehicles may help to improve fuel efficiency, which will also have its own impact on the economy.

For more on how this new technology can improve productivity and help drivers to stay safe while saving at the pump, follow this link to read more.


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