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The Future of Self-Driving Cars

Acquiring public confidence in the operation of self-driving cars may not be easy because of current incidents of fatalities such as a pedestrian who was killed in Arizona by a self-driving automotive operated by Uber. However, this does not stop many big players in the automobile industry to invest in R&D hoping to launch self-driving vehicles in the next few years. This article will attempt to look at the future of self-driving cars and their role our society in the next few decades.

Major players

Major players who have been investing billions in self-driving automobiles are giants such as Ford, Daimler, Toyota, and General Motors, Honda, new mobility corporations like Uber and China’s Didi Chuxing, and technological innovation leaders like Google, Intel, and LG.
The changeover has already begun. Automakers are racing to provide leading-edge driver-assistance systems, security functions and warning programs which encompass adaptive cruise command, collision avoidance, and lane-departure warning. This technological know-how has benefited other industries which include robotics and aviation.

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A reality

Autonomous autos are no longer confined to Hollywood sci-fi films. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, believes that self-driving vehicles can be as prevalent as elevators within ten years. Self-driving technology is going to revolutionize the future of transportation. Just as what is happening with the internet and information technology these days, self-driving automobile is transforming at this very moment and there is nothing anybody can do to stop it.

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Gradual transformation

The development process will be gradual but it is not something new. Airplanes have been semi-autonomous for years. A pilot will handle takeoff but most of the flying time, the airplane is on autopilot. Many pilots even put the airplane on “auto-landing” while the pilots still keep tabs on the plane.

It is the same type of idea with self-driving cars and trucks. In the meanwhile, the technological know-how still needs a human behind the wheel to intervene. But usually, the car does the driving. So how is it all different from automatic piloting airplane?

It will take time for the computer to arrive at a perfect program where all possible commands for all types of situations are analyzed and designed properly. This is a long process that could possibly take forty to fifty years. Even then, there will still be a need for manual automobiles in rural areas, construction or agricultural zones.

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LIDAR

Light-Weight Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) is the technological know-how which emits hundreds of thousands of laser beams per second and offers the vehicle a 360-degree view. LIDAR takes advantage of radar technology to detect how far away objects are to the vehicle as well as their speed. In addition, the vehicle’s computer system processes the information received from LIDAR and determines the proper actions such as commanding the brakes and the steering wheel.

All that is necessary for the self-driving technology to operate properly is a good and logical computer program which is certainly generally known as algorithm. Once we have a perfect program in place, the self-driving vehicle will be able to make choices better on its own and becomes smarter because it has spent considerably a lot of time on the road and studied all possible courses of action.
Similar to human who has a mind telling the legs and arms to maneuver, the car has technological know-how that tells it to steer, brake or accelerate that is assisted by a global positioning plan (GPS), which employs satellite information to tell the vehicle its exact location on the map.

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Subscription

Possession of a vehicle as a means of transportation will not be necessary in the future where people can pay for a subscription of services like Uber which will take us to wherever we like to go.

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Less traffic congestion

There’ll be considerably less of a need to have for parking in metropolis centers. Also, there will be fewer accidents to the roadways with self-driving cars that may substantially shift the insurance plan revenue and cost design.

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Less road accident

There is approximately 90 percent of road accidents that are the results of human errors. Highway accidents are the eighth-leading cause of death in the entire world according to the World Health Organization. Furthermore, according to the Annual Global Road Crash Statistics, close to 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year in addition to 20 – 50 million people who are injured or disabled. Of these 1.25 million people who die as a result of automobile accidents, more than 50 percent of them is between 15 and 44 years old.

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Less traffic violations

Self-driving automobile will eventually also have an impact on regulation enforcement. There will be no need for giving traffic tickets for self-driving cars, drunk driving and any other traffic violations.

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Job loss

Self-driving know-how will shake up the transportation industry. Job losses are going to be considerable for truck drivers. However, trucking companies can save a lot of expenditures thanks to their utilization of driverless motor vehicles and elimination of truck drivers’ employment.

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Reliability

During an accident, a human’s brain would probably freeze before figuring out what to do whereas an autonomous auto’s computer program would not freeze up and it will assess the situation in milliseconds and find out what’s the proper thing to do.
Changes in insurance policies

At this time, insurance companies calculate your premium on your driving record as well as the risk associated with your driving habits. If you’re a young male who has been involved in an incident, then you are deemed to have a substantial risk to insurance companies and can be charged the a substantial premium. But what will happen if insurance companies calculate your premium and you are totally not in control of the car? Would insurance company still charge you a premium based on your “driving habit?”

Car insurance premiums will likely decrease as new driver-assistance technologies greatly reduce the number of accidents. In the long run, auto insurance premiums will improve as liability for accidents shifts from motorists to the manufacturers and service companies that supply automated cars.

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Responsibility

The insurance industry has started to examine how legal responsibility might be shared in accidents that would involve semi-automated vehicles. On the other hand, autonomous vehicles will be providing precise and vital operating information about how accidents happen and who should be responsible.

Who will be at fault when an accident does occur – the vehicle manufacturer, the self-driving algorithm or LIDAR? The U.K. is thinking of laws that may make insurance policies for self-driving automobiles necessary. The idea is that if there is an automobile malfunction, then the producer would have to pay for damages unless the car operator has performed some unauthorized alterations with the vehicle’s software applications or failed to update the programs as required.

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Skepticism

More mature drivers such as the Baby Boomers and Gen X may just be the hardest demographic groups to persuade on the value of self-driving cars. Studies have observed that only three percent of baby boomers would trust the automatic technological know-how.

However, Millennials and Gen Z are generally are much less automobile crazed than the previous generation and this present a great opportunities for self-driving car manufacturers.

Let’s review the general notions of generations in our society:

  • Baby Boomers: Baby boomers were born between 1944 and 1964. They’re current between 55-75 years old
  • Gen X: Gen X was born between 1965 – 1979 and are currently between 40-54 years old
  • Gen Y: Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1980 and 1994. They are currently between 25-39 years old.
    • Gen Y.1 = 25-29 years old
    • Gen Y.2 = 29-39 years old
  • Gen Z: Gen Z is the newest generation to be named and were born between 1995 and 2015. They are currently between 4-24 years old
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Shift in purchasing power

Baby Boomers and Gen X grew-up believing that using and proudly owning a car was an important part of everyday living. Acquiring a driver’s license was a privilege which showcased that you have been progressing from a kid to a grownup.

On the contrary, study after study exhibits that Millennials and Gen Z do not think that automobile possession is especially important on their lists of purchases to acquire. Furthermore, chatting with Millennials and Gen Z often reveals that they do not like driving. As a result, purchasing desire for automobile among Millennials and Gen Z are dropping precipitously.

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Financial burden

Millennials and Gen Z will often be saddled with student debt and aren’t focused on digging in to the financial debt abyss any further.

Although they may have the dough, they noticed what transpired with the most recent recession and therefore are frugal and would not want to waste money on an asset will drop in value the moment they generate it off-the-lot.

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Car repair

Millennials and Gen Z do not want to deal with problems about car or truck glitches and burdens following the ownership of an automobile. Where exactly would they park their automobile and how very much will that cost them? Millennials and Gen Z would have to purchase automobile insurance policies, take the vehicle to a mechanic for routine and emergency services. A car would equate to an enormous bag of hassles, and so it makes sense to avoid it in the first place.

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Driving is a chore

Baby Boomers and Gen X have been brought up to think at driving was an enjoyment and a form of inventive expression. Millennials and Gen Z tend to be more down-to-earth and see driving as perfunctory. Their view about driving is that it is not enjoyable and it is a chore. Owning an automobile is just something you need to do to move from point A to point B.

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Basic knowledge

Automobile could be an adventure of mechanical mechanisms. It seems that the prior generations are passing significantly less and less knowledge regarding automobile mechanical mechanisms which ultimately resulting in the newest generations not knowing how an automobile functions. To put it simply, Millennials and Gen Z do not care how an automobile works, and predominantly concentrates more on the output a car may well generate. This suggests that they often do not have any psychological or personal attachment to their vehicles, because they do not work on the car, change the oil or put on a spare tire. All of those tasks are done by somebody else.

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Roadway infrastructure

Gone was they day that you simply rolled down your window and enjoyed the wind blowing on your face while stepping on the gas pedal. There are more people and cars on the streets now than ever before. Yet the infrastructure was constructed to accommodate much less traffic years ago has not been adapted and changed to the current population and current fleets of automobiles on the street. Today’s drivers often find themselves going at a snail’s pace in a traffic jam. Becoming a driver is worse than accomplishing a chore, it is more like getting your teeth pulled. Millennials and Gen Z figure out that outsource the driving task to those who are prepared to endure it may be the best way to move from point A to point B.

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Ecosystem consciousness

Millennials and Gen Z are aware that gasoline powered cars are emitting unhealthy emissions, and although they also realize that it is significantly improved in comparison to prior decades, nevertheless it’s even now bad for the environment.

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Utility

Most people who own a vehicle that sits roughly 95% on the time doing practically nothing, other than waiting for them to utilize it. In the future, when you own a driverless automobile, you can place it on to a ridesharing network while you are sleeping or working on your job. Your self-driving vehicle will go off to make money for you while you are asleep and come back to you whenever you want to use it. Self-driving automotive will be a piece of investment that all entrepreneurs would love to have in their portfolio.

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Sale prospect

Millennials and Gen Z are not going to sit in the sidelines while some are making money off of obtaining a driverless vehicle. Practically, they will be motivated to own this type of cash building machine as soon as possible so that they can make money from this type of lucrative ownership which will help them to generate the desired cash flow and pay of student loans.

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Gallery

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Photo WorldExplorer on Flickr

Google self driving car

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Photo torrez on Flickr

Self Driving Car

The thing on top was spinning.

google selfdrivingcar

Photo Steve Wilhelm on Flickr

Google's self-driving car finds its way to ice cream shop

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Conclusion

Self-driving vehicles do have an extra advantage over human drivers: they don’t get exhausted, distracted, or indignant. Once the algorithm is perfected through deep learning over time, driverless automobiles will dramatically reduce the number highway accidents and offer the world with the mobility freedom and peace of mind that for now only exist in sci-fi movies. Please be reminded that submarine was considered fiction at some point in the past but it is very much a fact in our today’s environment. It goes without saying that self-driving car will be just another fact of a normal daily life in the future.

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