All you need to know about autonomous vehicles

The driverless car is one of the great results of the technology

The driverless cars, self-driving cars or autonomous cars are vehicles that are capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human control. In these cars, computer vision, radar, lidar, GPS and odometer are used to detect the surroundings. These cars use advanced control systems to interpret sensory information to identify obstacles, different cars on the road and navigation paths. The first autonomous cars prototypes were developed in 1980.

Driveless car

Some companies have invested to develop their own autonomous cars

Google is one of the first companies to introduce self-driving vehicles to the world. Google cars have sensors designed to detect objects as far as two football fields away in all directions, including pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle or even fluttering plastic shopping bags. The software processes all the information to help the car safely navigate the road without getting tired or distracted.

In addition, Tesla has launched the model 3 that is outfitted with a full self-driving mode called “autopilot”. It has a series of cameras and advanced sensors. The car can autosteer, navigate the freeway with no driver input. Automatic braking and auto high beam modes also become standard on all Tesla models.

Since early 2015, Honda has been testing their autonomous vehicles. They are already planning to launch features of the semi-autonomous variety including collision warning. Those features have appeared in the Acura and Civic models from 2016 and on.

There are advantages related to a self-driving car

Self-driving cars have the potential in the future to reduce death and injuries from car crashes, particularly those that result from driver distraction.

Without a need for a driver, the autonomous car could become mini-leisure rooms. There would be more space and no need for everyone to face forwards. Entertainment technology such as video screens could be used to lighten long journeys without the concern of distracting the diver.

Sensory technology could potentially perceive the environment better than human senses, seeing farther ahead in poor visibility, detecting smaller and more subtle obstacles and more reasons for fewer traffic accidents.

Autonomous vehicles allow disabled people and older citizens to experience the freedom of car travel. There would be no need for drivers’ licenses or driving test. Moreover, a self-driving car could bring about a massive reduction in insurance premium for car owners.