Published:November 30, 2015
Autonomous cars are the most talked about technology in automobile sector. Though it is still the “future” of driving, but that doesn’t stop the experts from speculating how these cars will change the look of traffic. Many of these predictions have focused on the negative; for instance, fears that autonomous vehicles could single-handedly destroy the insurance industry, or that they could be programmed to harm humans.
The technology has it set of positive feedbacks also from the experts of the industry. They believe that there are many positive changes that these cars will bring about in the traffic scenario of the present world. They would not only add on to many things but would also make many old world technologies extinct.
The most dreaded speed cameras would no longer exist. As the speed limit of the autonomous cars would always be well within the safe limit, there would be no use of the speed cameras. This will also ensure lesser accidents due to over speeding. It would also reduce the crime due to road rage as the driver won’t be human and it won’t have any emotion whatsoever. Brian Cooley of CNET says “autonomous car will be vastly safer (than the human driven car). Humans are good at fuzzy logic and unfamiliar pattern processing but poor at the vast majority of driving that lies outside of that. States like bored, distracted, drunk, tired and nervous come out of the equation, where they never should have been in the first place.”
According to their engineers, driverless cars will be able to drive themselves to the nearest refuelling point to recharge their electric batteries. This will not only save time but would also be very economical in terms of fuel consumption.
Since the driver isn’t a person, one won’t have to pass the driving test too. Although experts believe that there would the need of a special kind of driving license that would certify that the user has full operational knowledge of the computerized system in the car. This will not only help the driver access the car properly, but would also save the other commuters from being the victim of other’s negligence.
The car’s system would be fully protected against theft and would send notifications to the user if anyone tries to enter the car in an abnormal way. The car would also be able to send its location to the owner in case of theft of the vehicle. This would reduce the fear of car theft in the owners.
Parking congestion would also be a thing of the past. Since the car would be self efficient in parking itself, there would be proper parking and the space would be well managed without anyone misusing the parking space. The dents that usually occur while a new driver tries to park the car would also be a forgotten pain.
Most of the traffic jams are created due to the irrational driving by the people who usually try to cross over to the other lane without worrying about the fellow commuters. This problem would also be sorted out by the autonomous cars as they would be designed for proper and safe driving. All the safety features such as lane departure warning system, would ensure that the car follow the lane system and is not breaking the traffic rules.
Another very useful feature of the driverless cars would be the safety of transport. Booking a robot taxi would mean that the movement of the traveller can be tracked throughout the journey and since there is no driver on board, the chances of misbehavior in the cab would be almost nil. The parents can be sure of the safety of their children if they have to travel by cab.
There is a negative aspect also associated with driverless cars. Experts say that with the arrival of these cars, the passion of driving would be lost. As the people won’t be driving their cars, the excitement of owning a car would reduce and more and more people would start sharing their cars. This will make a huge impact on the car sales. Most of the luxury cars are sold because of the passion of the people who love to drive and own a hi-tech car. With the launch of driverless cars, the luxury car business that is on an upward curve is bound to see some stability if not downfall. Moreover, the autonomous car would be a way costlier than the normal car due to its high-end technology, and this would make it un-affordable for a huge mass of people.
The driverless cars would be hackable too. A very strong and foolproof safety mechanism would be needed to safeguard these cars from hackers in order to secure the lives of people. Such as securing all the “entry points” (e.g.- infotainment system) in a car and storing all the data in a cloud based network.
A concluding note will be that with some strong safety measures, driverless cars would be the most sought after technology of the future.
By Kriti Ranjan