Cars have changed our lives for the better in all sorts of unforeseen ways. Indeed they bestowed upon us with a lot of freedom but in return levied upon us heavy costs. Drivers commuting daily generally count their lucky stars before going out for the day. Accidents on road, pollution, congestion, etc. are the heavy costs that all drivers have to pay at least once in their lifetime. Hence, comes the new era of self- driving cars. These can change the whole scenario of driving. According to WHO, cars are the leading cause of death from ages 15-29. 20 million to 50 million people get injured due to these accidents. Self-driving cars can reduce these numbers drastically. Nowadays due to our smartphone generation, we are constantly distracted. Self-driving cars would let drivers ride even while using our gadgets behind the wheel.
Are self-driving cars safe?
Google has already launched videos in 2009 and 2014 about helping people with disabilities to drive. Blind and elderly people could easily drive in cars now. How much easier it would make their lives!
Waymo, the self-driving car remains the clear leader of such cars on U.S. streets. Now there square measure dozens of autonomous vehicle firms testing on U.S. streets. Over subsequent few months, Waymo’s fleet began driving regarding twenty 5000 self-driven miles per day, or 1,000,000 miles per month.
In the last year 2018, Waymo hit another major milestone of eight million self-driven miles as its new electrical panther I-Paces vehicle hit the streets.
The next most skilled firms, Uber and gram Cruise, square measure still many million miles behind Waymo.
That doesn’t embody miles driven within the semi-autonomous modes that several cars currently supply, like Tesla’s Autopilot, that square measure a lot of driver-assistance systems than true self-driving vehicles.
In the previous few years, the best strides taken within the self-driving business are by ride-hailing firms, WHO square measure devoting Associate in the nursing exceptional quantity of your time and cash to develop their own proprietary technologies and, in several cases, giving members of the general public rides in their vehicles.
In 2017, Lyft’s business executive foretold that at intervals 5 years, all their vehicles are going to be autonomous.
At a news conference in March 2018, wherever Waymo’s business executive John Krafcik proclaimed its ride-hailing program. Krafcik claimed that the corporations are going to be creating a minimum of 1,000,000 journeys per day by 2020.
Autonomous cars could take away certain jobs of taxi-drivers, truckers, etc. But on the bright side, it will keep us safer on the road as so many new companies are setting out on the road, quite literally, to bring this gear shift on the way.
Benefits of self-driving cars
With car crashes increasing every day on the road, self- driving cars are making their mark on the road more in the very near future.
Listed below are some of the many self-driving cars’ benefits:-
- Road safety
According to the government, drivers pose a threat in 94% of crashes. So instead of that, self-driving cars can reduce driver error. It can potentially reduce risks and dangers considerably, securing human lives and reducing accidents.
Drivers behind the wheel are often drunk, drugged, unbelted, speeding or distracted. This’ll be the greatest promise to reduce the repercussions for such incidents.
- Independent driving
Disabled people like the blind can now lead self-sufficient lives however they want to. Senior citizens can also be greatly benefited from this. Car-pooling of such vehicles can also reduce great costs providing such services to every household.
With medical bills we are having to pay off with increasing pollution and car crashes and other injuries, self-driving cars serve as a boon in cutting off so much of medical expenses and hospital bills. Not to mention the amount of work time we would lose if we were bed-ridden. On top of that the cost of repairing the damaged vehicle. Hence, these cars are helping us save up so much and also reduce the costs of insurance well over time.
- Increase productivity
Self-driving cars can enable us to watch movies, create presentations or even write documents while driving. We don’t even have to worry about parking because the vehicle parks itself upon reaching a particular destination, be it an airport or a shopping mall. We could do our jobs and respond to emails without the worry of paying attention to the road or crashing or running red lights.
- Reduce road traffic
Automated vehicles could reduce the mistakes caused by drivers on roads which leads to road congestion and thereby an increase in traffic. Intelligent vehicles as such are programmed to maintain a safe and consistent distance between two vehicles. This reduces the number of stop-and-go traffics that increase confusion and congestion.
- Greener future
When traffic jams are reduced and the roads are considerably less congested, it would mean no more idling of vehicles on the road emitting greenhouse gases. It would save so much of fuel and would pave the way for a less-polluted greener and cleaner future.
Greater demand for electric vehicles might be felt and even car-sharing. When electric, i.e, battery-powered vehicles are shared, the cost of battery usage could be shared too. Hence the vehicle can be used for more hours of the day because that would mean more commuting at less cost. This will increase the economic appeal of self-driving cars.
- Save more space
Self-driving vehicles could pave the way for a smarter future in the sense that they will affect in the building of cities and the infrastructure of smarter designs of roads and parking spaces. In our day to day parking, it creates a lot of hassle in selecting a parking spot, checking the space in between the vehicles and then parking our vehicle with adequate space between them. Self-driving cars will be programmed to negate such hassle and calculate the distance by themselves and then park accordingly. Estimations point out that this can be done saving 15% less space which will result in saving way more space for more efficient commuting and parking in all urban areas all around the globe.
- Saving time
Each driver in urban areas is estimated to spend around 27 minutes extra in commuting in the US. With self-driving cars out on the road, this could save well up to an hour, if not more each day. The time which they can devote to their well-being and even boost the economy and other benefits that lead to a more efficient life.
These are some of the numerous self-driving cars’ benefits.
Self-driving cars future
While talking about the future of these wonderful cars, there are countless wonders and expectations and possibilities to come true. Johann Jungwirth of Volkswagen says that restaurants might cover the cost of travel for certain customers to boost up their sales. Fancy ones could advertise these vehicles as part of their meals too. In-vehicle advertising would sky-rocket taking the help of ride-hailing networks such as Ola, Uber, etc. riders can choose between expensive ones or cheaper along with the offers that come with them.
Other avenues of comfort will be opened up to people such as letting us work out in the gym with our trainer for a quick while on our way to work or call a make-up artist or a hairdresser on our way home.
Toyota has already designed e-Palette vehicles which are kits that can be delivered to offices, salons, parlors, shops, etc. These vehicles will modify our entire social lives by merging groups of people with similar interests while assigning rides, which means much more fun while even commuting! Dating apps could take up this advantage and pair up people with similar interests out for a ride on the way to the date or even long drives. Self-driving vehicles might also serve as a mobile hotel while out for a trip. Spacious ones, of course.
From the sci-fi movies featuring robot cars, who knew they would become a reality someday? In the past five years, driving has become smarter and smarter with each new innovative design to the existing models. From Bluetooth to remote lock and now driverless cars! Keeping human safety the utmost priority these vehicles will venture out on the road in greater numbers making our lives easier and our traveling hassle free.
No doubt, every new technology, and invention come with its own pros and cons but these vehicles are mostly targeted in making our lives easier, connecting more people socially and professionally. Once these self-driving vehicles are economically affordable to the regular folks, these will sweep over our roads in no time.
In answer to the question will these vehicles change our lives for the better? Yes, they will. Commute will become cheaper and less of a drag. People will no longer have to worry about traffic or finding a parking spot. Like most technologies, these vehicles will surely channel the best in us and pave the way for a promising future ahead.