Before you notice, the era of Artificial intelligent and self-driving vehicles is coming soon and changing our life in unexpected ways.
With more than 40 corporations, 263 companies and manufacturers currently working to produce autonomous vehicles, self-driving car is expected to replace the traditional vehicles to become the main vehicles on the road in near future.
Hand-free driving cars – That’s not seem so far
Take a look back to 1900s, the concept of the autonomous car was still an unrealistic prospect.
Since the first concept of Leonardo De Vinci’s self-propelled cart, it took so many efforts from engineers and researchers attempt to find ways to convert drivers to passengers and reduce the intervention of humans in driving activities.
A century has passed, we have witnessed a big transformation of vehicles, from partial automation to nearly-full automation.
Given the advanced state of AI (Artificial Intelligent) and technology, Self-driving cars and autonomous vehicles open the door to a new era of mobility and transportation- where we’ll see “completely driverless” vehicles moving on the street.
2017 marked it a potential year for autonomous driving companies and organizations in developing and deploying self-driving cars.
It was 30 years since Eureka launched the largest project on the driverless vehicle, there was an intense entry of giants in IT and automotive manufacturers such as Google, Tesla, BMW, Toyota, Ford, Volvo, and Uber endeavor to bring self-driving car into public in the next 5 years.
With the rapid growth of invention and evolution, we do not have to wait more than 2 years to see what so-called “sleeping when driving” become reality – says Elon Musk, Tesla CEO.
A new exprerience of Driving
Imagine that you are in a moving car without controlling the brake or steering wheel! That is, could be extremely refreshing!
The most interesting part is intelligent of your car. As a robotic car, it can be guided like a robot, which means you can summon it, remove control, define location via GPS and even detect and plan your route safely before going.
Not only provide the best utilities, the latest information showed that self-driving car also includes various of improvement in entertainment features, including recording videos, digital music player support, and in-car streaming services.
Researchers showed that people spend approximately 40 hours in car a year and an average of 100 minutes daily, the demand for in-car entertainment (ICE) was highly-concerned.
A full automation car could provide up to 22 million hours of extra media consumption and mass of applications that provided the best communication and music performance.
Some optimal communications and entertainment system have developed by famous automobile companies like Ford Sync 1&2; Nisan CONNECT and Volkswagen Discover in-car infotainment…
Solution for Improvenments
Solution for traffic jam
Traffic congestion has been an anxiety for both government and residents nowadays. It could get even worse with the rapid change of urbanization and the growing of population.
If the top auto makers could bring their vision about self-driving car to fruition, it could resolve dozens of traffic problems.
How would it help?
The fundamental problem of traffic is not the number of vehicles but the coordination between them.
Whenever a car stops due to traffic lights or intersections, it affects the others as driver reaction and behavior will lead to the disorder of movement in traffic stream, which causes traffic jam.
That is why we need a smart vehicle which can perfectly connect and coordinate with each other like self-driving car.
It could send the signal to each other to maintain a proper distance and avoid stagnation due to sequence accelerate.
Besides that, the 3D map from the satellite could provide different ways and shortcuts to the destination, which is very helpful in urban areas with alleys and streets.
Solution for parking spots
When self-driving car become popular, it could make a huge impact to improve the parking space efficiency.
As it can be guided and controlled from afar, it doesn’t need aisles or door-open spaces. Hence, a lot of spaces will be filled up or used for another purpose.
In addition, the appearance of driverless cars can diminish the number of parking garages. Cars will play a role as a driver and pick up or drop off people from different points, people by then do not need to park their car or find a parking spot.
It’s much more convenient for them to wait for the car from elsewhere or let the car park itself in a defined destination.
The design of self-driving car from Google shows the smaller shape of cars also helps the car to be fitted in different parking size and easy to move around.
Solution for time-saving
A recent study showed that people spend almost 17 hours annually for finding parking areas. This will not be a problem in the future as the demand for parking spots will be solved efficiently.
Since it mainly controlled by software, it could enable people to save thousands of hours in struggling with roads, maps, and parking spaces.
It can drive smoothly without distraction and have the potential to flexible handle emergency cases.
Solution for fuel- saving
Fuel-efficiency is being the top concern of autonomous car developer. A self-driving car is described as a computer on the wheels, it can drive better and smarter on the road which could impact on total consumption of fuel and energy used.
Owning a self-driving car mean you do not need to waste time and fuel to circle the parking spot searching for an empty space; maintain a steady speed would not be an issue thanks to the coordination among automated vehicles and traffic systems.
Also, the distance will significantly be reduced by the intelligent navigator system installed in the car and so the fuel consumption.
A test from GM last year revealed the gasoline used by autonomous car will be lessened as nearly 90 percent compared to normal vehicles.
Solution for environment
Most of the self-driving cars would be free-petrol cars and it will use electricity instead. Invest in self-driving car is a way to save our planet from greenhouse gas pollution.
Waymo, Audi, Toyota and Uber are among the many companies working toward the day to create new modifications to lighten the weigh and manage discharges of emissions into the air.
Although now we have no idea how green is the future of self-driving cars, one thing that foreseeable is that it will make a huge impact in improving the environment.
Elson Musk (Tesla CEO) already has a plan so far to develop the self-driving car model using solar energy- which provides better and cleaner fuel for vehicles.
These are the most striking features of self-driving cars as it could be an eco-friendly vehicle which lessens pollution and protect the environment if it widespread used.
Motivation to reduce traffic accident and human toll
Annual Global road crash statistics revealed that there was approximately 1.3 million people lost their lives due to traffic accidents a year, car crashes killed over 37 thousand people each year in the United States.
Automation on the roads would be the promising technology in the expectation of saving our lives from fatal driving accidents.
With the advancements of cameras, navigators, radar systems and other safety regulators which has the potential to prevent a thousand car accidents each year.
“It could reduce the rate of auto accidents in America to nearly 90 percent” -says McKinsey& Co consultant
Emergency condition savers: Self-driving ambulance
Since the introduction of autonomous cars, there were various opinions from experts to apply the preeminent of this invention in emergency health services.
If a self-driving car becomes an ambulance, it will be equipped to quickly deal with difficult traffic situations and find a smarter solution to escape from traffic jam, escape from crowded streets or find the quickest route.
Yet it still needs assistants and paramedics, but the convenience and dominance of automated technology will significantly increase the driving time and quality of patient care.
We’ll likely see driverless cars running on the street soon, so why not expect on the appearance of self-driving ambulances?
If the doubts on safety guarantee can be removed, it would be a significant improvement in the transportation and health service industry.
In addition, driving a self-driving car mean you even do not need to worry about driving drunk or driving in the unconscious state.
In the future, self-driving car will have the potential to make the roads much safer and give your mind a rest when driving in every situation.
Revolution for mobility
The accelerated pace of innovation and improvement has brought the shifting and replacement of various conventional transit services. The coming of self-driving vehicles and the plan for self-driving taxis predicts a big transformation in the taxi industry.
It will contribute a compelling effect in transportation as well as car manufacturing.
We may not expect too much when seeing big companies sketching about the prospect of taxis shuttling on the street, but companies like Uber and Ford has been taking actions to prove it was not a reckless plan.
Uber self-driving car has already roaming on the street in San Francisco on December 2016 under the supervision of autonomous experts, and the test drive was surprisingly succeeded.
Before it is widely used, Uber believed that Uber self-driving car will eventually become the most striking service ever which could flexibly adapt to many weathers and driving conditions.
And the other potential competitor is on the way, Lyft has announced that they get serious about driverless taxi and prepare a hundred of people working in the development of facility by the end of 2018.
Although it still seems a vague future for the self-driving car manufacturers to fully launch the ambition of transit services without humans, the aim for further acceleration was very attractive.
Accelerate delivery services
The potential of self-driving cars seems to be unlimited, and the greatest capability of robotic vehicles is the replacement of human presence in different conditions.
If people have already used robots as delivers to avoid traffic congestion, bad weather condition or time delay.
The same logic was applied to self-driving cars as automation deliverer in a long distance.
In fact, Domino pizza already teamed up with Ford motor company to deliver pizzas in self-driving cars; the project has released in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Customers then need to enter the right code to receive their pizza. The positive reaction of customers was the motivation for companies to conduct more delivery test in a variety of campuses of big universities.
So many retailers and famous e-commerce brands have unveiled their plan to conduct the delivery services with driverless cars for short-distances, and the future of this kind of delivery now seems predictable.
” We are excited to watch the development of driverless cars as delivery experts, and we believed it would be a dramatic change in transportation,” says Patrick D., Domino’s CEO.
Will self-driving cars change the auto industry and so the global economy?
It has been raised a big question for economists and experts that whether this breakthrough going to be a threat to future economy and society as it could reshape the range of occupation and create more major issues in the unemployment rate.
Understandably so, the rapid change of technology will lead to intense competitions of labor market worldwide, and the outcome is possibly foreseeable.
As the rise of autonomous car number, a vast amount of truck driver and taxi driver could lose their job, and this was estimated at 300 thousand a year in the US as soon as the introducing of self-driving cars.
The fierce competition may seem more aggressive, but it doesn’t mean the rate of unemployment will escalate.
Instead, there will be a transformation of industries, the advantages of self-driving vehicles will enable people to innovate new things, new manufacturing methods and there will be new kind of business go along with it.
That could mean more opportunities will appear to adapt to the high-efficiency and profitability of new technology transformation.
Of course, the stints later will require less fatiguing and lassitude, this might even allow people to have more time for other activities and inventions.
Hence, the global economy will be boosted and the burden of unemployment will be lessened.
It’s just a few years counting down to the debut of self-driving cars, and we extremely hold our breath to see what happens next. In the growing of technology and advancements, we look forward to a brighter future where we will see self-driving vehicles settling on the street in a perfect order.
This transition might be a challenge, but also be a promising opportunity.