Many years ago, it’s possible that we would have laughed if somebody would have told us that we would see and experience the many technological advancements that there are today, one of the many things that people may have thought impossible includes cars that can drive themselves. Self-driving cars, also known as autonomous cars have been in the pipeline for a couple of years now. There have been gradual advancements such as self-parking systems which emerged in the 2000s, and automatic parallel parking assistance in 2003. In 2014, Google revealed a one hundred percent autonomous car which had been driven more than two million miles by the end of 2017. Taking all of these milestones into consideration, what do you think we can expect to see in 2018? A few potential possibilities will be mentioned below.
AI and Production-Ready Hardware
If you were at CES 2018, you may have noticed presentations likely created by a flashcard maker which explored the many advancements in autonomous cards. One of them may have been when Nvidia unveiled a new self-driving car chip named Xavier that will incorporate artificial intelligence capabilities. Combining the use of artificial intelligence with autonomous cars isn’t a new concept as apparently, Toyota has been researching the possibility with MIT and Stanford. However, connecting artificial intelligence and production-ready hardware is a first of its kind collaboration. What it means for autonomous cars is that they can potentially perform better and it creates greater possibilities for features such as digital assistants
Modes of Operation
It is likely that when the first fully autonomous cars are finally released, many of them won’t be sold to the general public. This is because the areas that most of these cars operate in would need to have been wired and digitally mapped for self-driving. In light of this, it is likely that autonomous cars will be offered to businesses for commercial use in the delivery sector for instance. Ford is reported to have plans to debut their first-generation autonomous vehicles in populated urban areas where their vehicles can transport people as well as commercial goods. To work on making this a reality, they have apparently partnered with delivery service postmates to see how self-driving cars can help deliver groceries, food, packages and retail merchandise more efficiently.
On the journey to creating automated cars, many companies have begun creating cars that include several more automated features. Back in 2014, you could find features like lane-departure warning systems, forward-collisions warning systems, and side-object detection systems in cars. For 2018 it’s expected that the Lexus LS sedan and Volvo XC60 crossover SUV will be able to take the steering will away from the driver in order to avoid collisions. This could indicate a gradual shift towards fully automated cars in the near future.
Many of the deadlines predicted for self-driven cars have come and gone, but it is safe to say that progress has been made. We have seen developments in the use of artificial intelligence as well as greater automation. Automated cars have therefore gone from a mere concept to an almost reality in the past couple of decades thanks to research and technological contributions.