The car industry seems to be moving fast towards an autonomous system. The benefits would be undeniable, but are we ready to take it to the road?
The latest drive for driverless technology come from Taxi app Uber, who have recently confirmed that they’re testing a self-navigating vehicle. Such vehicles would gradually nudge drivers out of their jobs, with unbeatable convenience and superior pricing.
Uber, who have already shaken up the taxi industry with their start-up revolution, aim to make self-driving cars as reliable as ‘running water’. They have customized a Ford Fusion test car with a radar, laser scanners and a camera from Uber’s Advanced Technology Center.
They claim, like many others, that driverless cars could hugely decrease the loss of human life on the roads. 1.3 million people die each year in car accidents, most of which are caused by or involve human error. Thus, take out the human part and we have less unnecessary deaths, less congestion and more affordable accessible transportation.
Tesla founder Elon Musk stands firmly in the support of driverless technology, saying that driving is too dangerous for humans and as soon as driverless cars are proven to be safer, it will be outlawed. Earlier this year the US Department of Transportation also vowed their support for a driverless future, unveiling plans to eradicate road accidents by increasing the number of autonomous vehicles.
However the technology is evidently not yet to 100 percent trustworthy. Recently, one of Google’s driverless cars had a collision with a bus in Mountain View, California. This was soon after it had just become the first non-human to be recognized as a driver in the US. To prevent such accidents, the Uber self-driving cars will be monitored by a trained driver, following progress and complying with legal guidelines.
It seems that everyone is ready to give up the steering wheel, with other giants in the industry competing in the race to autonomous roads. Companies such as Goodyear, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have all released plans, some including concept cars that integrate into auto-pilot pioneering. Are you ready for driverless driving?