Driverless Transportation

The Cars Of The Future: By Jack Worcester

Driverless Cars: The Future Is Now

Many car companies are designing driverless cars, and some are already on the road. Will driverless cars replace ones driven by people?

What Has Been Developed So Far, And What Is Next?

Driverless cars have been introduced in the last couple of years, the most notable being the car that Google made, which they are testing out their cars on the streets of California. They are planning on releasing them to the public in 2017, with other companies following in the early 2020's. There have also been rumors of an automated taxi service, although if that idea is developed it will be at least 15 years until it would be released to the public.

What Are The Benefits Of Driverless Cars?

In theory, driverless cars would rarely ever crash since they are run by a computer. Even though only prototypes have been launched, that seems to be true, with only three crashes in the couple hundred test drives that google has launched, with one being the other drivers fault, and other one happening when the car was not in self-driving mode. BMW has also tested out their models, although not nearly as much as Google has. So far there has been no crashes for the BMW car, although that may be due to much less test drives.

What Are The Downsides Of Driverless Cars?

Even though the prototypes have had relatively few crashes, that may be due to close monitoring by Google and the fact that the car was only on a few select roads that had been carefully mapped out for the GPS system in the car. Google, or any company really, may have trouble creating a GPS system for their driverless cars that would span the entire United States. Also, the cars are specifically designed so that they follow every law, which makes sense. But that means that in a traffic jam on a road with the speed limit of 40 miles per hour, every time the car in front of it moves it will go 40 miles an hour for the 50 feet or so, which can cause problems. Also, the car may not know how to deal with slippery conditions or dirt roads or steep icy hills, since driving on that requires a human's knowledge for any slight details that would change the way the car is supposed to be driven in that specific situation.

Timeline Of Self Driving Cars:

Today: We may not have self driving cars today, but cruise control, automatic braking and parallel parking assist are already a reality

2016-2017: Tesla and Cadillac are making cars that can go driver less on highways and valet park themselves.

2020: Self driving cars that can go at slow speeds in areas such as retirement homes are thought to be released at this time.

2025: It has been estimated that by now most cars will be self driven.

2030: People will be able to call for driverless cars whenever they want!

Will Driverless Cars Replace Ones With Drivers?

Going to back to the original question, will driverless cars take over the roads? Probably not. Such a large scale transformation would be extremely hard and take a long time, but unfortunately for the manufacturers, it seems that based on all the downsides listed above that driverless cars are simply not safe unless all cars around it are controlled by machines as well.