Googleís recent announcement that it would produce approximately 100 self-driving cars came as a surprise to the general public, but itís hardly a new idea within the confines of the auto industry.
Enthusiasm for autonomous vehicles has grown in the past decade, as automakers and universities have teamed to create cars capable of steering, braking, accelerating, and navigating on their own. Starting in 2004, races sponsored the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) proved that a self-driven car was a viable concept, with five vehicles completing a rugged 132-mile course in the second race and six more finishing the third. Since that time, Google has logged more than 700,000 miles on its self-driving cars.
Here, we present a short history of autonomous cars. From student-designed buggies to self-driving production cars, we offer a glimpse at the future of the automobile.
Click on Chevroletís EN-V below to start the slideshow.
Could this be the future of the automobile? Jointly developed with Segway Inc., Chevroletís EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) is a self-driven, electrically propelled concept car designed for urban environments. Chevy said the autonomous two-seat vehicle is designed to address environmental issues, traffic congestion, parking, safety, and energy consumption. It will reportedly be featured in a 2015 Disney film called Tomorrowland. (Source: Chevrolet)
The legal issue, Pudubu, is essentially that automakers could be responsible for any accidents or fatalities, unless they can prove they've tested for every possibility, which is impossible. See link below.
Very impressive slide deck of autonomous vehicles. I found the MI-Detector to be quite interesting because the box at first glance looks like a geiger counter. It's amazing to go back into the archives and see how today's sophisticated technologies are influenced or originated using simple solid state electronics. Again, very nice slide decks.
Also, entrance and exit to the EN-V is just like the old BMW Isetta. A front door refrigerator. It was deemed too dangerous then, it is still too dangerous. A frontal accident would trap the occupents.
My biggest concern on these vehicles are that they are all controlled by computer. And just like my Windows at work, we will be getting inundated with updates, and the computer part of the car will bog down. My GPS has more than once sent me to the wrong address, or onto the wrong way of a one way road.
Then, because we are linked to Google, we will be subject to Hacks. What mischief could a hacker do? 'nuff said.
In actualilty, there are many situations where automatic driving would be preferred. Especially, long drives on the expressway. I would prefer to see railroads opened up to continuous use traffic. We can just drive our (electric) car with minimal range onto a personal rail car (like a ferry), and program in our destination. This would also work for towing camping trailers, or any long distance trucking.
Autonomous cars mixing it up with irrational-driver conventional vehicles makes for a far more complicated environment - insurance and legal environment, that is - than a lane set aside for autonomous only vehicles. Yes, these shopping trolleys will need their own lanes to keep the lawyers unemployed.
With every technology there are pros and cons associated no doubt autonomous cars have a lot of advantages but definitely there are cetain disadvantages also associated with it like there will always be a worry of malfunctioning of computer or system, It will make many people unemployeed for example taxi drivers, truck drivers etc , Initally this technology will be very expensive so every one wont be able to afford it .
Thanks Charles for such an interesting post , No doubt autonomous vehicles are becomming very in these days and they are also becomming the necessaity as well because it results in much safer journey, and because of sensors these cars will be able to pack closer together allowing more cars on the road, It will avoid the hassle of learning driving and then getting the lisence , According to me it will make the lives of passengers easier in the area where there is parking issues as well.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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