Have you ever heard of Google’s autonomous cars? They are self-driving Lexus and Prius cars. According to the leader of this car project, these cars are safer than people driving cars. They maintain safe distances and can break sharply. They even made a study with professional drivers and they found out that Google cars run smoother than those driven by these professional drivers.
The studies used data from said cars on California and Nevada’s public roads. When a human was behind the wheel, the cars accelerated and braked more sharply than when they were piloting themselves.
Maintaining a safe distance is also a problem with today’s drivers especially when it’s traffic. Human drivers just want to be as close to the front car as possible. They don’t want delays even if it’s just a second or two. Keeping a safe distance will help avoid accidents.
In one of the experiments, the Google car was hit by a human driver. The data the car got was used to create an annotated map of the environment so that the scientists can see what happened. This way, there is no longer the need to rely on human witnesses. You already have the data that you need. Eyewitnesses are prone to errors and sometimes cannot be trusted. With this data, you can prove what really happened. This can be valuable information especially in accidents and car chases. According to the data, the guy who bumped the car was not paying enough attention.
These independent cars have been on public roads since 2010. There is always a human driver in the seat so that he can take over right away when necessary.
New cars will include a dashboard display so that people will be able to understand what the car is doing and when they think they want to take over. Google is thinking about different ways of bringing these autonomous cars to the market.
Would you want to be driven to work by this car? Do you think current technology is enough for us humans to put our lives in the hands of a machine? The bigger question is are we willing to put young children inside this vehicle?
Ideally, this is something busy workers and mothers will find useful. One of the main reasons for accidents is the driver being too tired to drive. Sometimes they fall asleep on the wheel. Having an autonomous car drive a mom and her kids to soccer practice, recitals, grocery shopping, etc. will help prevent these kinds of accidents. Mom no longer needs to worry about being too tired to drive the kids around. She can work, do her chores and just sit in the car and tell it where to bring them.
Hopefully, the car team will find more ways to make this new technology safe for everyone’s use. Further development and testing is necessary at this point but after all that, this is a good car to have in anyone’s garage.