Development of Self-driving Cars
Rouse 2011 equated as self-driving cars to robotic vehicles that have been designed to move from one place to another without the help of the human operators. Semi-autonomous driver assistance features such as smart parking, lane keeping assistance systems, and cruise control have already made themselves permanent fixtures of any modern vehicle. Engineering powerhouses like Google and Tesla, continue to produce advanced technical systems enabling cars to overcome our biggest road related hurdles: pedestrian safety, vehicle carbon emissions, and the elimination of car accidents. These companies, of course, believe that the creation of a level five self-driving car is the key to unlocking a safer, cleaner, and free vehicular experience for all humanity. However, before we can achieve the creation of an entirely autonomous vehicle, it is critical that we consider the underlying problems introduced by human factors. In this paper, I will discuss the motivation behind the development of self-driving cars, the human factors related to self-driving car development, and technical limitations.
Self-driving cars will decrease car accidents because they eliminate distracted drivers on the road. Currently, some of the poor driving practices on the highways include unsafe turning, changing lanes without signaling, driving above the speed limit. According to the Federal Highway Administration General Statistics (2016), “in 2016 approximately 34,439 deadly motor car accidents occurred in the United States causing almost 37,461.” This statistic shows that car accidents are causing a massive loss of human’s life. One of the ways self-driving cars decrease accidents is that they are programmed to obey traffic laws. While on the road, sensors and algorithm will help in the detection of lanes and traffic instructions such as the speed limit and marked lanes. Certain companies use radar, Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) to detect paths and obstacles. Lidar is a device with lasers that create a high-resolution map of its surroundings in real time; driverless cars use this map to help them envision the environment. Lidar is used in multiple tasks like creating fast and accurate 3D scans of landscapes and buildings (Solon, 2016). It is, therefore, safer to have these self-driving car as lives will not only be saved, but also sanity will be restored in the American roads.
Secondly, self-driving cars are not subject to anger, frustration, and exhaustion, annoyed or drunk (Rouse, 2011). Taking into consideration long-distance human driver traveling with cargo from New York port to Chicago for example, they will need several stopovers along the way. Their body demands rest and their effectiveness decreases as time passes by in the road. They will at some point feel frustrated by saying the mechanical breakdown of the vehicle or other road users. They are thinking about their loved ones left in the home. They miss them; they miss sex, they miss being drunk or having some fun. All these factors make them ineffective throughout the journey and as such wastage of time and resources. A self-driving truck will not have to worry about a football match or swimming. It will be in operation for as long as it is programmed to be and as such the companies will make more money (Solon, 2016). The economy will be stimulated, and achievement of a 24-hour state will be real. All these human factors justify the need to have a self-driving car that will not be affected by them.
Self-driving electric fleet vehicles do not require large batteries. As a result, they solve the issue of EV (electric vehicle) range (Chan, 2017). This has been the primary limiting factor of adopting driverless cars with the argument that these cars cannot go far because of battery limitation. Contrasting to the typical internal combustion engines that were considered better than electrics a while ago since they had reduced battery technology, a lot of steps have been taken in furthering the electric motors. They are agreeably smaller, more compressed, and more efficient compared to the current (Chan, 2017). Their internal combustion units are the best, and as such, there is no reason as to why these vehicles should not be released on the American Roads. Additionally, these batteries have proven to have the ability to sustain a drive for about thirty kilometers. That is a substantial distance which is convenient for passengers rushing in the city for regular jobs and back to their residential homes.
Another feature that makes these vehicles good is the presence of adaptive cruise control abbreviated as ACC which refers to the ability of the car to regulate its momentum and as a result maintain a distance that is safe (Chan, 2017). The notion that these autonomous vehicles are not capable of adjusting to rapid changes on the roads is thus nullified. Additionally, an inbuilt stereoscopic camera has been incorporated to foster speed adjustment. Radar systems are also a standard feature in these vehicles, and this makes them efficient in times of poor weather or dusty environment. This is in contrast to the current technologies which are not adaptable to such needs. It is also important to note that these radars are a position to maintain obstacle distance and at the same time determine the speed of the obstacle something which is not available in ordinary cars.
There are many other reasons as to why these vehicles are appropriate. There will be increased savings as the traditional construction of transit infrastructures such as railways will no longer be appropriate. Public finances could now be directed to other areas such as manufacturing which will foster the American economy another issue will be making the traffic police less concerned with writing traffic tickets and now concentrate on managing other road issues. Additionally, sensors in the self-governing cars will make road use economical as many vehicles can now be accommodated (Naughton, 2015). The fatigue associated with identification of parking space will also be history as the car can locate a parking space farther away.Technology is growing, and changes are inevitable. Just like the manual vehicles were replaced with automatic ones, it is a high time now for these automatic vehicles to be replaced with autonomous ones. The benefits associated with these cars surpasses by far the challenges that problems in the American roads. As much as self-driving vehicles have enormous advantages, they will make many Americans in the driving industry jobless. This, however, should not be the reason for opposing these changes that are inventible with the growth of artificial intelligence. Instead, the society should devise ways of dealing with these changes. The community should invent methodologies to prevent or reduce fundamental transformations that arise as a result of software-based devices which are perceived to have potential harms. This paper recommends the artificial’ intelligence applicability as the best approach to solve these challenges.