Imagine a world where driving a few hundred kilometers won’t be such an exhausting activity! If the car does all the driving; you can relax, enjoy a movie, catch up on work, or simply drive in style while day dreaming about your wonderful life.
For now, driverless cars (or as I would like to call them, the real remote-controlled cars) are a work in progress. Apple is currently working on autonomous systems that will be a big deal for the future of self-driving cars. However, they didn’t announce any progress up until now so I guess we’d still have to wait.
Tesla is further along the way with their autopilot feature but we still can’t call this a completely self-driving car as it still requires human supervision and assistance. However, things seem to be moving a little faster for the car producer than they are for Apple.
But what exactly does this mean for the future of transportation? Let’s take a look at how our future would look like when cars can think for themselves.
Zero Accidents and Loss of Human Lives
Human error is the number one cause of car accidents all over the world and about 1.3 million people die each year. With self-driving cars, this number will hopefully be reduced to zero.
However, the main condition for this to happen is to have only autonomous cars on the road. With complex sensors and powerful computers, autonomous cars will have the ability to assess the road situation and obstacles, make decisions, and adjust its speed and driving style accordingly.
You can call your Car
This is already a possibility with the Prius A.V.O.S by Toyota where the rider can summon the car using a phone app. However, the system is still not advanced enough to call the car from the garage at home when you’re in town for a conference.
In the future, we should be able to call the car to pick us up from work or to send it back to the garage when we don’t need it. While speaking to John at RC rank, he says that the big cars should behave just like advanced RC cars today; except that it’s not being controlled by a remote but the onboard computer which will be the one doing the guidance.
With autonomous cars, transportation will be a lot faster and traffic jams will reduce to a minimum. It is assumed that once cars take over the task of driving, we won’t need traffic lights or signals and the driving speed will increase.
The self-driving car will be able to plot the most direct course to the destination and it will communicate with the other cars on the road in order to keep the traffic fluid.
This also means less stress in traffic for humans – you will actually enjoy the car ride to work and back since you won’t have to worry about driving or sitting in traffic for hours.
Even if autonomous cars will still run on fossil fuels, they will be capable of implementing a more efficient way of driving. This means less carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere by cars, which leads to a cleaner, healthier environment.
The autonomous car will be an improvement to the lives we live today. We’ll be less stressed, healthier, and happier.
But when will that happen?
Nobody knows for sure; probably 20-30 or 40 years down the road.