Technology always seems to creep up on some people. One day you might be noticing a lot of buzz about some new emerging, technology. The next, you walk out of the house and it’s everywhere! One exciting new technology is driverless cars, which are being developed and tweaked as we speak. If you’re interested in these, you’re certainly not alone! Here are a few interesting facts about driverless cars.
Image from Wikimedia
If you’re wondering about who’s going to become rich off of these cars, then it’s Alphabet. This multi-national giant is poised to claim another part of the market. Alphabet is the current leader in driverless cars, but they didn’t get there without any sacrifice. Some analysts estimate that they’ve forked out over $60 million for research in self-driving technology. The same reports show that Alphabet is currently working with its third generation of driverless car. Testing these models has racked up over a million driver-free miles. Find more at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-alphabet-autos-selfdriving-idUSKBN0TZ2FJ20151216
When it comes to the legality of these cars, it may surprise you that “driverless car” may be something of a misnomer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has said that legally, the autonomous software in the vehicle will be treated as the driver. “NHTSA will interpret ‘driver’ in the context of Google’s described motor vehicle design as referring to the (self-driving system), and not to any of the vehicle occupants. We agree with Google its (self-driving car) will not have a ‘driver’ in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years,” NHTSA said in a Reuters article. Many are wondering how this will impact law firms like this: http://injuryflorida.lawyer/practice-areas/auto-accidents/ .
Although driverless technology is pretty impressive these days, they do have one weakness: snow! Yes, if you live anywhere in the world that gets snow in the winter, I don’t recommend getting into a driverless car soon. In February 2016, Volvo found that snowflakes can become stuck to the car’s sensors, making them close to useless. Those in charge of the project think they’ve found a fix by moving the sensors to the windshield. However, this will depend on the car’s windshield wipers to keep the sensors operational. Currently, the cars themselves are becoming distracted!
Finally, we may not have that long to go before we get to start using these incredible machines! The first functional cars are going to be tested in a “real world” environment in 2017. Volvo is one of the car companies heavily involved in autonomous vehicles. They say they’ll be releasing 100 fully driverless cars to the public. These will be able to drive themselves down a controlled stretch of road in Gothenburg, Sweden. While the roads will be real, the cars will be separated from pedestrians, and won’t have to deal with oncoming traffic. It may be a long time coming to your town, but the speed of this development is pretty exciting!
Reading all this, you may be feeling like you’ve woken up in a science fiction. By the look of the current situation, this isn’t about to change!