By: Arna M
Self-driving cars are no longer a futuristic idea. Since the early 2000s, dedicated and passionate engineers from all around the world have been working to develop self-driving cars. In 2009, they joined together to bring the Google Self Driving Project into being.
So far, the group has test driven 1 million miles in Mountain View, California and Austin, Texas. Currently, they are preparing to test drive in places where it rains, to test the car’s ability to drive in less-than-ideal weather conditions, in Kirkland, Washington.
Sounds exciting, right? Well, you will have to be patient, because proper self-driving cars won’t be available until 2030. We have a long way to go, but it will definitely be worth it to see yourself jamming in the car, with no driver, 14 years from now.
But the real question is, how will it happen?
A number of car manufacturers have been racing to see who will win this battle, including Audi, Mercedes and Volvo, with advanced driver-assistance systems. However, recently, Tesla Motors have stepped up their game and introduced an amazing autopilot feature, in which the car can switch lanes and manage speed in traffic.
Specifically, Google’s design is made to think just like a driver. It has 4 main “thoughts”:
“Where am I?”
“What’s around me?”
“What will happen next?”
“What should I do?”
Of course, whilst answering these questions, the car makes sure it is taking the safest route and relies on their incredible sensors to move around, instead of a steering wheel and pedals.
On another note, this product will not only allow you to take a nap while on your way safely to your destination, but it will be supremely helpful to the elderly, blind and others who are unable to drive. Just imagine a future where everyone can travel safely, on their own, regardless of their abilities. Sounds amazing to me!
In 2020, low-speed cars, specially made for the elderly, will be permitted in supervised settings, like retirement communities, making safe transportation easy and simple. “Kudos” to the hardworking engineers who are constantly working hard and, everyday, bringing us closer to a safe and alternative future!
Personally, I still can’t believe that one day we’ll be riding in self-driving cars; it sounds like “Back to the Future”! However, it’s exhilarating to constantly see technology advance, becoming more surprising and more powerful everyday!