Self Driving Cars

What exactly is a self driving car? How does it work? What do we need to build one? What are the advantages and disadvantages of it?

These days many companies have stepped in the market of autonomous cars. But first what exactly an autonomous car is? Any vehicle capable  of sensing its environment and navigating without human effort. Autonomous cars can detect surroundings using a variety of techniques such as  lidar, GPS, odometer, radar sensors, ultrasonic sensors, video camera , 3D Maps and computer vision. An autonomous car uses various technologies for running on the street. To build one we need some cameras to get the view we need to have a 360 degrees view which will then be interpreted by a computer. There should be ultrasonic sensors to detect any sound to measure the position of the object close to the vehicle. And last but not the least a GPS system supported by 3D maps for the differentiation in height and for navigation. Also the maps need to be accurate since the car

We have seen companies like Uber, Google, Audi , Toyota, Apple, Fiat, BMW, Mercedes, Tesla and a few Chinese companies like Le Eco investing millions of dollars in developing their artificial intelligence technologies. They have been promising to provide us with them by 2020 and that 2020-30 will be the decade of autonomous industry. The companies have started running in the race. But few have been successful in giving the concept. Like Mercedes Self driving trucks , Tesla’s attempt of self-driving cars , nuTonomy has tested it’s autonomous taxi and Singapore and will soon be launching it in England. Not only these but Google has also made a test run till Texas but I think that the route has big highway and very less traffic so it was a bit easy. But that car is tested in places like London and India it would have been much difficult.

The autonomous car industry is very much popular since it’s unimaginable advantages. The car is runs on computers which can’t be distracted in normal conditions. And the human error will not be any more causing around 81 percent of reduce in number of car crashes. Computers use complicated algorithms to determine appropriate stopping distance, distance from another vehicle and other data that decreases the chances of car accidents dramatically but only under normal circumstances.

Since ever coin has two sides same is the case with this technology. Even with so many pros we have some cons as well. We need to understand that it is not completely accident proof. In rainy seasons the car may loose it’s control as the cameras will get wet and the sensors might not work efficiently. Also, the drivers need to be taught what to do in any emergency situation. Apart from this, we will be having an adverse effect on the petrol and diesel industry as it is expected that these cars will be running on electricity.

With this we must understand that like time is always moving, the technology is also moving. It keeps on developing. So we must not loose or hopes and gear up. And be able to have a fully autonomous car. I would like to mention that companies like BMW, Mercedes Benz and Tesla have been able to successfully launch semi-autonomous cars which are capable of self parking, lane control, etc.

It can be said that the technology of self-driving cars does make it safer for humans, in case of accidents, and the autonomous cars also help improve the environment because these vehicles are cost efficient and help reduce greenhouse emissions by 90 percent.


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