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Driverless Cars: Is It Safe to Take the Human Out of the Loop?

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A driverless, or autonomous, car is a car that is able to operate and drive itself without the need of human interaction. Autonomous cars are able to navigate independently by using systems like GPS, radar and are able to sense the environment around the car by using sensors. Many major car companies, including Ford, General Motors, Audi, BMW and Volvo, have begun testing autonomous car systems. General Motors predict they could have a fully autonomous car on the road as soon as 2018[1]. There are many advantages to autonomous cars such as fewer traffic collisions, reduced congestion, relieves the occupants of navigation duties so they are free to do other things, and autonomous cars can be used by anyone even if they have a disability…show more content…
Another advantage to autonomous vehicles is reduced traffic congestion. If all traffic is controlled by computers and GPS it would mean all cars will be able to drive at the same speed which means there will be less breaking which will lead to less traffic jams. Braking distances will be decreased because the cars computer will have a faster reaction time than a human, which means cars can travel closer together. This means more cars can fit on the road at any one time. Another way it reduces congestion is at traffic lights. Autonomous cars will be able to move off instantly as soon as the light changes to green which will mean the cars behind will not have to wait as long to move off [6]. This also means more cars will be able to travel one green light compared to when humans have control of the car. Autonomous cars will be installed with GPS software which will enable the car to travel to places independently. The passengers will tell the car where they want to go and the car will drive there automatically taking the quickest route possible. This should be the only interaction that humans have with the car and it’s likely that this is where most of the problems will lie. Most accidents and navigation errors are caused by human error. The driver is free to do other things while the car is driving itself, such as catch
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