Self-driving cars are no more part of fictional theories but they have become reality now. This new technology will radically change the way people travel from one point to the other. The self-driving car was originally a project initiated by Google but later it became a standalone company known as Waymo in December 2016.
Since then Waymo has done several trials of this self-driving car and also launched a commercial self-driving service in December 2018. Some of the features of self-driving cars are already being incorporated by other companies in their cars as well. You might have heard or seen features like automatic braking or parallel parking which is possible due to the use of sensors. Sensors help to park the car automatically.
Technologies like cruise control and automated steering technology used for parking make us believe that we can expect on roads a completely self-driving car very soon.
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How does this technology work?
Google self-driving cars work through sensors. There are multiple sensors in the car which are functioned through the google software and they make sure to keep you at safe distance. The data being collected by the sensors identify other road users’ pattern and also notice the road signals. For instance, if any other car comes very close to the Google car it will automatically slow down to keep the distance.
The officials explained the cars are fully automated with sensors that give 360-degree views and lasers that detect objects up to 300 meters away. Vehicles and objects which are near are detected through short-range lasers, while radars are used to detect vehicles around and other objects in motion.
Are Google self-driving cars safe?
This is still a question of debate among many people. Is it really safe to hand over the control of our safety to a robot? Many people give their logics that these cars are much safer as they won’t get drunk, drive fast and take unnecessary risks which normal human beings do.
According to research, more than 90% of accidents are caused due to the mistakes of drivers. If this is the case we can hope self-driving cars might reduce the frequency and severity of the accidents.
However, these cars operate in limited testing areas such as Arizona. There is no driver behind the steering wheel and no other cars and pedestrians sharing the road with them. So more testing is required, they need to do further tests in extreme weather conditions and on complicated roads.
A revolution for the car industry
Self-driving cars will undoubtedly bring a revolution in the car industry especially for companies who are not adopting this new technology. All the car-related businesses will be affected such as car manufacturers, parts suppliers, car dealers, insurance companies and many more.
Imagine who would not like to have a car which can take you to any destination without driving. While you tell the location to the car, let it drive just sit back and relax. There will be no need to waste time in finding parking spots, the car can drop you at your destination and park itself far away. It will make long journeys faster when you can continue your drive without stopping.
There are still many hurdles in the widespread use of self-driving cars. The main concern is to make them safer than manual cars. The other issues can be of privacy and security as who will have access to the driving information stored in these vehicles. Another question is if the systems of these cars can be hacked and controlled which can cause a security risk.
However, the self-driving car revolution is unstoppable. It will take many decades until these cars replace our manual cars but surely their advanced features of safety and convenience will make them essential. Only those companies will thrive which will plan ahead and adjust with this change.