The road ahead for self driving cars

Many people were caught unaware when tech companies such as Google and Apple stated that they were developing driverless cars. With fossil fuels running out and many auto accidents resulting from human error, it’s only natural that human innovation will change that.

The prospects of having a steering turn itself automatically as the person sitting at the front seat catches a nap is an exciting one indeed. However, the developments do come with its own issues.


The Problem of Emissions
 
One of the most pressing issues in the transportation sector has been the rising emissions contributing to global warming. As a matter of fact, in the list of largest sources of greenhouse gases in the United States, it comes only second to industrial emissions. U.S. sees more than 2 billion barrels of fuel used in cars every single day. The question is, will autonomous cars change this?

Seemingly, yes.

Tesla RoadsterFirstly, looking at the growing popularity of electric vehicles manufactured by Tesla and Nissan it can be safely predicted that by the time autonomous technology is implemented for public use, most cars would have shifted to cleaner sources of energy.

Even if they don’t, it can be predicted that intelligent cars might actually manage to save more fuel than man. Making cars more intelligent would mean better efficiency due to elimination of the human error factor in driving. Besides, cars would interact with each other and exchange information. This wireless communication will enable cars to relay information regarding traffic across the network thus facilitating commute through the most efficient path.

This will invariably bring down fuel consumption and ensure a smoother ride among other things.

The Other Benefits

Autonomous cars will make carpooling easier and also make larger vehicles practical on the road. Thus, number of people inside each car is set to rise thus helping to create an efficient transportation network. Lesser number of cars will be required on the road as each car will transport more people. As the number of cars plying on the road decreases, the emissions will gradually decrease.

The Other Problems

One other issue that needs to be addressed for autonomous cars is the issue of safety. Certain tests have shown that in case the computer malfunctions, there might be an accident. Besides, the cars being completely run by a computer are also susceptible to cyber attacks. Having said all this, autonomous cars can potentially make our roads accident proof.

So, where do we stand?

The benefits of saving millions of lives which are otherwise lost every year due to car accidents outweigh any other issue that might exist. Autonomous cars will allow cars to ply faster and much more safely as compared to what we see now. Google’s autonomous car project released their accident reports after much prodding by non profit public interest group Consumer Watchdog.

Their car, which runs across California, saw 14 minor accidents over a period of 6 years having clogged over 1.8 million miles. If these figures are not reassuring enough, Google also said that all these accidents were caused by factors other than the autonomous car technology developed by them. Safety on the roads is set to increase manifold with the introduction of autonomous vehicles as compared to today’s situation.

Cleaning up the environment

Because there are so many vehicles on the road today, car emissions have taken a front seat in many business and political discussions.

Since these are harmful emissions are released in the atmosphere, many of our largest cities are concerned about the adverse affects that it has on the populations overall health. Because these gases may make it hard for people to breathe, this is an issue that cannot be ignored by the average person or by the vehicle manufacturers. In fact, there are many agencies and emmision studies that indicate that our environments need to be cleaned up by virtually every means possible.

Electric Car Replacing Autos Run By Petrol and Diesel

Fortunately, there are numerous solutions that everyone is paying special attention, which includes but not limited to, the average citizen teaming up with others to drive to work and back. Also, there are some long term solutions that manufacturers are working on today, and they normally involve producing different types of vehicles that do not require various types of petrol based fuel to function properly. One in specific, is the electric car.

Even though the invention of the electric car can be traced backed to its initial inception more than 100 years ago, the electric car did not gain in notable prominence until recently, in 1960s and 1970s. It was during these times that car makers begin to consider the electric car as a serious option when oil shortages began to drive the demand. Today, the electric car industry is receiving another leap forward to becoming a staple in the U.S. and other countries due to the harmful emissions that’s created carbon pollution on a large scale.

Self Driving Vehicles And Car and Emission Related Concerns

While there are many different initiatives driving the need to reduce harmful car emissions into the environment, some are more notable than others. In addition to the strong push to get more electric vehicles on the road, there is another innovative solution on the horizon. The newest that appears to be hitting the airways heavy is the introduction of self driving cars.

Even though it has taken over a century to incorporate the electric car into the mainstream, this is not the case for the self-driving car. In fact, the outlook for the self-driving car is more than promising since it is scheduled to become part of the norm as early as 2020. Google has already released a prototype and they are expecting the average driver to be a part of this new technology in the very near future. By 2050, the projections made include reducing car emission polution by as much as 80% in participating areas.

Reducing emission pollution is currently a big problem that is on the agenda of many individuals, small companies, large corporations, vehicle manufacturers and government agencies alike. All of which have a joint part in correcting these problems because of the impact that has on the overall health of large populations and the environment. Fortunately, there are some great solutions in the making they are designed to address and eliminate these concerns. Two of the more notable includes the introduction of the latest electric cars and self-driving vehicles.