Autonomous Vehicles

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Nightrider Soon To Become A Reality
Vehicles have come a tremendously long way since the first Ford Model T rolled off the line in 1908. Over recent years, there has been a surge in technology driven by companies who wish to give vehicles the ability to drive themselves to specific locations without the assistance of an actual, physical driver. This has huge implications all over the board, and is something people should be aware of as there are probably some, who regardless of how well the technology works or has been created, will not like the idea of autonomous vehicles driving next to them on the road. Then again, there are other techie zealots who will probably exclaim “What took you so long!” But either way you look at it, the rise of the machines has begun, and currently there is one company that has stayed ahead of the pack in developing this new technology, and that company is oddly Google!

Now it’s odd that Google is at the forefront of developing this technology as no other part of their business deals with vehicles directly. It could be argued that their advancement of maps, specifically the charting of roads, is close. But really, they posses little experience working with vehicles, though this technology really doesn’t reinvent the car so to speak. It does definitely enhance it. Imagine, just as in the television show Nightrider, you could simply tell your vehicle where you wish to go and it will take you there. Or perhaps you need to be picked up, well it could come and get you as well.

How Google Became Involved
Google first realized the importance of an autonomous vehicles when they were charting their roads for Google Maps. Initially, they hired numerous drivers and outfitted them with cars equipped with the proper camera equipment needed to photograph the streets. What they soon realized was that they needed a lot of drivers, as there are many roads to map. They figured that if they had vehicles which could drive themselves, they could map the roads much faster, and not force people to have to drive hours on end, taking every turn they could potentially take to assure all the roads were coursed.

It’s a very simple idea, however to implement it is entirely different. To start, autonomous vehicles are illegal on public roads in every state except California, where Google was located in doing their research. They were fortunate in the sense that California Law makers allowed this, as without their permission, this dream of theirs could have never became a reality, at least not in the U.S to start.

The Benefits Of An Autonomous Vehicle
Here is list of a few of the potential uses an autonomous vehicle can have to give everyone an idea of how important this technology could potentially become.

  • Drunk Driving- To start, there would never be the need to drive drunk any more.
  • Parking- You wouldn’t have to worry over finding a parking spot, as the car could drop you off and find one itself.
  • Accidents- There would no longer be accidents, or fewer of them, as every vehicle would be following the legal speed limit, stopping fully at stop signs, and generally having better awareness of its surrounding as 6 or so cameras work better than 1 set of eyes.
  • Long Drives- How nice would it be to be able to set the location you desire to go to, and sit back and read, or work, or even fall asleep as the car drives you. If you have an hour commute to work, you can spend that time sleeping if desired
  • Traffic- Traffic would be less of an issue as if every vehicle on the road was driving properly, there would not be as much stop and go, which is what causes huge traffic jams in cities and on highways.
  • Mobility For The Disabled- Any person who was unable to drive themselves due to a disability or a handicap would find that they are just as mobile as the rest. You could even be blind, hop in your car and tell it where to go, and arrive there with little worry over being in an accident. It would essentially provide mobility to people who were unable to have that before.

The Concerns Over Autonomous Vehicles
There are of course numerous concerns that the use of this technology brings about, many of which aren’t simply to naysay.

  • Trust- How much can we trust technology, is to the point where we can be driving at 60 mph on the highway and feel safe that power wont cut out, and we careen off into another car or median?
  • Fault- If an accident were to occur, how would insurance handle that if both vehicles were being driven autonomously? Could either party be to blame, or would the fault lie on the providers of the device?
  • Weather- How well will the vehicle know how wet or icy the road is, and whether or not if loss of control were to occur, could the machine correct itself as fast as a human driver could?
  • Unseen Dangers- Driving in the woods, you may notice a deer in the distance walking toward the road. A human driver would anticipate the animal trying to cross, but could a machine recognize that ahead of time?
  • Car Repairs- If a vehicle starts to act funny, a human driver can tell whether its moving sluggishly, or a tire seems to have gone flat, or a headlight is out. Would a machine be able to recognize potential “unseen” hazards such as these?

In the end, this technology is far from being put into public use. Countless laws would have to be passed to allow it, public trust would have to be high enough to accept it, and many trial runs will have to occur in order for it to be perfected. Currently, Google has clocked over 200,000 miles in California with testing an autonomous vehicle on public roads, and things look bright. Not a single accident has occurred, and when watching footage, it’s a bit nerve racking when a pedestrian steps out in front of it as it is moving. But the vehicle calmly slows down to let them pass, which is more than some human drivers would even allow for. It can’t help but be called exciting, as it is.

If you are in need of a Denver oil change, transmission repair, or are simply interested in free transmission check to find out transmission repair prices, than visit AAMCO. Because those who know, go to AAMCO!