Imagine going in your own car and using the driving time productively to complete your other professional work on laptops. Yes, we are talking about self-driving cars. These cars are dream come true for those who are stuck in traffic for hours together. Initially self-driving cars was only seen as one of the unachievable futuristic designs, but slowly and steadily it looks like it will be a reality soon in the next few years. Major luxury car brands like Tesla, Mercedes and BMW have already launched or are in the phase of soon launching self-driving cars. Apart from them those car companies that produce cars for the masses are also in the phase of research and development for these cars. Technology has improved to a huge extent and this will be helpful in the artificial intelligence which will be installed in these cars. Not only technology has become accessible for everyone but also affordable.
It is said that with the use of self-driving cars a number of obstacles can be overcome. Mostly it is going to improve the overall connectivity across the country. Usually people would not prefer to live in rural areas due to lack of public transport and long hours of driving to reach the city. However self-driving cars could provide a solution to this. People won’t be skeptical about staying in rural area with the fear of long distance traveling. It is likely to reduce traffic congestion since most of these cars are made with precision about road safety and travel. If more and more of such cars come up on road, the will be better traffic navigation and lead to less congestion and also increase the safety of drivers.
Previously the error rate in the software for object recognition in these cars was extremely high. Even if a light weight object such as paper or napkin flows in their way, the car is likely to swerve. These minor objects could have prevented the smooth driving experience. But due to constant research and development the error rate of these software has come down drastically. They are trying to bring in as much human touch to this software as possible. However, there are still some glitches associated with these cars. These automated cars work perfectly fine in simulated environments, but if there are temporary road blocks or signals, it still confuses the software algorithm about the course of action to be taken. Though use of sensors in car for image mapping could be used, but to translate that image and take decisions accordingly is a difficult task. Secondly, the software which are used in phone, computers and tablets usually have a shelf life of certain years and requires constant upgradation. The software may hang in certain cases. This could prove fatal in terms of self-driving cars. It is highly risk to take this chance with a human life.
The navigation maps that are installed in GPS are still less detailed as compared to the ones that will be needed in these cars. It requires real time mapping. If a certain road has a diversion due to road repair, the car should be able to quickly decide the next junction to take to reach the destination similar to human mind. Most region have snowfall majorly throughout the year. Showing real time navigation maps based on snow and other whether condition is also one of the concerns. Apart from this, one more concern that these cars face is of car theft. Though car locks are by default the protection guard for them, if no human is there in the car, how will the safety of the car be promised is the question to be answered.
Once these cars become regular on the road, government will have to come up with new road safety rules and regulations. They will have to customize their road safety laws according to the model of self -driving cars. Though these cars can prove a boon to the pedestrians. More self-driving cars could result into more carpooling resulting in less number of cars on road and giving free space for normal pedestrians.
However attractive these self-driving cars are, chances of getting one as a consumer still seems like blur in near future. This is due to the fact that it is difficult to decide as to where they should try these cars. They have to take into considerations a number of factors such a traffic congestion in a particular area, road navigation, road quality, and temporary road obstructions. So though self-driving cars are becoming the new trend in auto category, the actual usage of this car on road for consumer still seems to be a distant future. Whenever this becomes a reality, it is surely going to prove as a boon for some and hopefully we don’t have any negatives to face with it.