A New Angle On Car Safety

1113 Words Oct 27th, 2015 5 Pages
According to Chris Urmson, "1.2 million people are killed on the world 's roads every year. In America alone, 33,000 people are killed each year” (Urmson). Urmson is the Director of Self-Driving Cars at Google, and in March of 2015 he presented a TED Talk in which he addressed issues of car safety. In his presentation, Urmson goes on to explain that for over a century, America has come up with ways to mitigate car safety issues. Manufacturers have specifically addressed the fact that car drivers often err, and in so doing, create unsafe conditions for themselves and others on the roads. To address this, vehicles have been revamped to be more structurally sound, and collision safety features have been added, such as air bags and seatbelts. However, Urmson 's central point is that most recently, innovators have begun to focus on a new angle in car safety: smarter vehicles. Autonomous vehicles are vehicles that are capable of sensing their environment and navigating by using various sensors such as radar, LIDAR (light detection and ranging), cameras, and GPS without a human driver. Driverless cars reduce car accidents and increase car safety through mapping technology, communication technology, and other necessary technology.

On top of a Google driverless car is a Velodyne 64-beam laser. The LIDAR (light detection and ranging) system on the roof of Google’s self-driving car "shoot[s] bursts of energy at a target and measure[s] the return time to calculate the distance”…

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