No longer a topic of science fiction, self-driving cars are the hot topic in the automotive industry today. From Apple to Mercedes-Benz, there are a variety of companies both inside and outside of the car world racing to create a great, self-driving vehicle. For this week’s Tech Tip Tuesday, we’re giving you the up-to-date information you should know about self-driving cars. Autonomous cars look great, they are currently being tested, and they could be coming to a garage near you.
1. They Are Already On The Road
While some companies only have concept self-driving vehicles, many companies are already testing functional prototypes on public roads. Google, for example, has already self-driven over a million miles. These cars are being rigorously tested to handle all kinds of unique road situations, such as construction zones, railroad crossings, and cyclists or pedestrians entering the roadway.
2. They Look Amazing
Some autonomous cars are being built on standard vehicle bodies from carmakers like Lexus and Audi, but others are completely unique. From cute small cars to vehicles that look like they came from a science fiction novel, there are some awesome new cars being developed specifically for autonomous use.
3. We Still Have To Wait
There are many hurdles to jump before these vehicles are in production:
Florida, California, Nevada, and the District of Columbia have established regulations around self-driving cars. With technology of this magnitude, a variety of governmental bodies in the US will need to approve and regulate self-driving cars before they are available for purchase. Should there be major conflict about how they should be regulated or if they should be allowed, it could result in the public waiting for these vehicles long after they are road-ready.
Would you trust artificial intelligence to drive your car? Many people may have a hard time allowing a computer to take control of the wheel.
Like with most new technologies, the price could be steep at first. Carmakers are trying to develop this technology so that it is affordable to the general public, but this may be challenging.
Despite these hurdles, carmakers are making bold claims about the arrival of self-driving cars. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan, predicts Nissan will have a self-driving car available to the public by 2020. Other predictions suggest autonomous cars will be common-play by 2025.
4. Multiple Companies Are In The Game
Here are just a few of the key players in the world of self-driving cars.
- General Motors
5. Self-Driving Cars Will (Hopefully) Reduce Road Accidents and Fatalities
According to the NHTSA, there were an estimated 32,975 motor vehicle fatalities in the US in 2014. If executed correctly, self-driving cars could dramatically reduce this number. A large number of those fatalities are caused by distracted, drunk, or drowsy driving. A self-driving car will eliminate these issues.
These autonomous cars will likely be equipped with vehicle to vehicle communication, which means the cars will send data to each other. This information will include speed, location, and other critical data needed to avoid an accident. Self-driving cars have been programmed to drive conservatively, from tests we’ve seen. The first public testers of the Google Car report that the car has timid driving style that feels very safe.
As cool as self-driving cars are, it may be a few years. To tide you over, why not find your next set of wheels on Carsforsale.com? With millions listed nationwide, you’re sure to find the right vehicle at the right price.
Would you trust a self-driving car? Let us know in the comments below.