Autonomous Vehicles

1715 Words Sep 5th, 2014 7 Pages
Introduction

Currently there are great leaps being made in the automotive industry involving computers. The industry is removing the human element in regards to driving and delegating more of those duties to the computer. Some manufacturers have made it easier to park or stay in the correct lane while some manufacturers are looking into a complete autonomous vehicle (AV). These are completely self-driving cars which the computer system controls every aspect of the drive. AVs have the potential to alter the landscape of driving like it has never been altered before. They have the potential to reduce the number of deadly crashes, provide transportation to elderly and disabled people and provide more capacity on the road.
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Computers will be able to make split second decisions which the human brain is not capable of. “Most accidents are caused by human error, and in theory by replacing human input with well-programmed computers, the risks of driving could be substantially reduced, the report said.” (Reactions, 2014)

“But here’s the thing: Even if self-driving cars never achieve perfection, it’s looking increasingly likely that they’ll prove far safer than your average cellphone-checking, selfie-snapping, road-raging, falling-asleep-at-the-wheel human driver ever was. In fact, given that Google’s cars have now logged nearly 700,000 miles without causing a single accident, it seems that they already are.” (Oremus, n.d.) During a robotics conference, Chris Urmson stated that they had performed tests of when the car was in control and when the human was in control. The car was at a near-collision state for most of the human test while the computer test was smoother and safer. (Simonite, 2013) So not only is the AV safer, but it is a smoother ride as well. There are no sudden stops or quick starts.

“The pressure to adopt self-driving cars, with the safety benefits they can deliver, might be overwhelming, however. Ulrich Eichhorn, MD of the German car makers' industry association the VDA reckons the pressure for autonomous cars and their role in preventing accidents will be almost overwhelming. "They'll initially reduce accidents by maybe 90 percent," he says.”(English,
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