Self-Driving Vehicles Pave the Way for Automobile Drivers.


Who knew that the dawn of driver-less vehicles would come to pass? Innovative thinkers of automotive technology are constantly searching for ways to perform every-day driving activities smarter and more efficiently.

In this case, computers are being programmed to transport people from place to place. Whether the route is planned to be to and from the grocery store, work, a party, or to grandma’s house, one is left with the benefit of knowing that a trusted driver is behind the wheel.

According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, by 2035, it is calculated that approximately 21 million autonomous vehicles will be sold on the market, globally. In fact, the idea of exchanging drivers for automated systems free of faulty errors that people make, is beyond the stage of inception.

Advocates predict that self-driven vehicles (SDV’s) will improve and ensure the safety of its passengers, provide convenience, fuel savings, and be much more eco-friendly. And, after studies have shown that over 90% of traffic accidents are contributed to driving errors, supporters of the technology believe that self-driving cars will reduce collisions by 90%.

Based on sheer observation, SDV’s don’t drink and drive, can be programmed to obey traffic laws, optimized to conserve energy, and are capable of legally transporting unlicensed travelers to their desired destination.

But, what happens when they malfunction? SDV’s functional life force is driven by sensory motion and sophisticated software. With that being said, cost is definitely a factor.

An autonomous vehicle requires a series of electrical sensors, controls, software, and [even] subscriptions – adding up to be over hundreds of thousands of dollars – that work cohesively to allow its operational health to remain in favorable condition.

Even in today’s society, sensors are a big deal. A simple structural failure on a road surface, commonly known as a pot hole, can dismantle a sensor.

Sensors are the first responders to a vehicle’s computer that send real-time updates to keep track of everything. Once a SDV is stripped of its sensory guide, it becomes practically blind and prey to faulty errors on the road.

Security and authentication of computerized SDV’s would place the lives of many in jeopardy, given that car attacks could increase through the art of hacking. Researchers have shown that commercial vehicles such as the Ford SUV and Toyota Prius, are susceptible to cyber-car-jacking by simply synchronizing to its network through Bluetooth or cellular applications.

In the event of technological failure, it is unclear as to what role human drivers would take on. Given that government-proposed regulations have been set forth to support hands-free, self-driving vehicles , Waymo, a self-driving technology company backed by Google, released its autonomous minivans and prototypes with no pedals or wheel to clutch onto when things go awry.

Factors such as the economy’s unemployment rate, and supply and demand are quintessential to the growth of America. The potentially harmful in-depth projections of these components are more than capable of affecting citizens on a national scale.

Innovative car-sharing companies including Uber, Lyft, and Zipcar are preparing for the era of mobility-as-a-service where, “…car sharers outnumber car owners,” which is slightly different from renting a vehicle – by the way.

Waymo, a self-driving technology company that first cradled in the in the arms of Google (in 2009), has been working very hard to make mobility safer among Americans in the U.S., where 1.2 million people die annually on roadways. Custom prototype vehicles, such as the Firefly and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, are fully equipped to drive without human back-up support, with the minivan being the first vehicle to have been built on a mass-production platform. Currently, the company is spearheading an Early Rider Program that encourages individuals in the metropolitan area of Phoenix, AZ, to join the movement of utilizing autonomous vehicles.

Although this dream has been tested by many developers in urban, metropolitan areas and make-believe towns such as Motor City (Mcity), the implementation of a self-driving car-sharing society remains just that: a working vision.