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Self-Driving Cars

Autor:   •  April 3, 2014  •  Essay  •  601 Words (3 Pages)  •  759 Views

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Self-Driving cars utilize novel technologies to reduce the need for human interaction in the process of driving. Ultimately, self-driving cars will result in the complete automation of the driving process, and allow cars to be driven without the need for a driver to be present in the vehicle. Enabling technologies such as RADAR, LIDAR, cameras, GPS, vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communication allow vehicles to perceive the world around them in continually increasing precision. Advancements in digital image processing allow computers to interpret the data collected from their environment, and convert the information into actionable decisions for their operation.

The Self-driving car is a reality today, and has enormous potential to drastically change the face of transportation. 1.2 million Traffic fatalities occur worldwide each year [1], and 93% of these ultimately lie in the hands of a human's mistake [2]. Self-driving cars offer the opportunity to drastically reduce these tragic and preventable deaths. In addition, self-driving cars offer to return billions of productive hours to drivers who previously had to focus on the task of driving as part of their daily routine. Self-driving cars present the opportunity for personal transportation to countless disabled, and elderly individuals. As the technology advances, automakers who are not exploring self-driving technology will experience a shrinking customer base while customers transition to models which offer them enhanced value through self-driving capabilities.

For self-driving cars to reach their full potential, governments will need to effectively regulate their use. In addition, taking vehicle operation out of the hands of the driver shifts the liability from the owner to the manufacturer. The insurance industry will have to change significantly to protect vehicle producers rather than vehicle owners, however the drastic reduction in the number of accidents which occur should reduce the damages resulting from accidents, and

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