11.28.2017 | Driving Tips
Autonomous Vehicles: On Route to the Future of Driving
Autonomous vehicles – they’re a mysterious tech feared by some but embraced by others.
What is the truth behind this unique technology? What was once found only in science-fiction works is now making its way to a highway near you. For better or worse, driverless vehicles represent the next leap forward for the transportation industry.
Technology has made peoples’ lives easier since the beginning of recorded history. Once the digital age took hold, the possibilities for refining even the most basic aspects of everyday life became apparent.
But while the benefits of automating vehicles to the point that they don’t require a driver are apparent, there are also plenty of risks to consider. Even those who embrace technology in various aspects of life may have reservations about sharing the road with a vehicle if it lacks a human pilot.
Autonomous vehicles represent a form of high-reward but high-risk driving. This tech requires the proper training and insurance to safeguard against hazards, so the benefits can be realized.
The Origins of Autonomous Vehicles
Technology’s main purpose has always been to make our lives easier.
If you’re someone who values the convenience of mobile phones or has ever benefitted from cutting-edge medical procedures, you know firsthand how helpful technology can be.
It would be easier to list the areas of life that are unaffected by technology than the opposite.
But the leap toward autonomous vehicles represents the type of sweeping change that can make even the biggest tech enthusiast stop to consider the risks.
Autonomous vehicles were originally developed as a method of helping improve transportation options for both personal and professional endeavors.
Whether it’s taking you to work or picking up a shipment of freight across the country, autonomous vehicles take the driver out of the equation in an effort to speed up transportation options.
This can prove very helpful for those who have disabilities that prevent them from driving, or for those who simply dislike being behind the wheel during a trip. Autonomous vehicles can also prove helpful in industries like public transportation and freight shipping when human drivers are unavailable.
While it is true that fully functional autonomous vehicles may be able to outpace those piloted by humans once the technology is refined, some still have doubts that this is a real possibility. However, the science behind driverless vehicles has been evolving steadily for years.
Technology that Has Grown Impressively
Many people look back at the technologies of the past and note how they evolved into the solutions we enjoy today. You may have noticed that vehicles, even those meant to be driven by humans, have changed significantly in recent decades.
Solutions like back-up cameras, swerve detection, and braking assistance all involve computers making decisions based off data in order to aid the driver.
These innovations have helped improve road safety and cut down on accidents.
The same type of technology used in these devices is present in self-driving kits for vehicles. Autonomous cars and trucks rely on the same technology to get from A to B. Cameras and sensors capture the vehicle’s surroundings, alerting the algorithm to potential hazards so it can make safe adjustments on route to its destination.
In this regard, autonomous vehicles can perform on the roads just like you would. They can sense obstacles, assess the situation, and make decisions – all within a millisecond.
But the big question of whether a machine is safe enough to drive itself on roads full of people remains a topic of controversy in the transportation industry.
Is the High-Risk Driving Worth It?
Plenty of technologies have faced backlash from traditionalists. Even as they gained more public acceptance and their benefits became more apparent, people have continually cited concerns about their impact on society.
If you’re someone who has wondered whether driverless vehicles are truly safe, you’re not alone – even the organizations and industries embracing this technology with open arms have been open to the potential dangers.<
Regulatory controls are already in the works regarding the use and testing of autonomous vehicles, and successful test runs have already taken place.
While there have also been accidents involving driverless vehicles, the potential rewards will likely end up winning out over the safety concerns.
Driverless vehicles may be a new and somewhat-eerie change to transportation as we know it, but the technology is still moving forward.
Most people think of their personal car when the subject of vehicles comes up. But those who work in transportation for a living have a particular interest in embracing autonomy.
Can Autonomy Aid Struggling Industries?
You’ve probably heard the common worry about driverless vehicles making their way into the commercial freight industry, the field of public transportation, and other areas where people make their living.
The idea of machines taking jobs is as old as history itself, but driverless vehicles could help industries that are already struggling from a lack of jobs.
The freight industry, which is facing a big problem due to a lack of talented drivers, may be able to fill open roster spaces with machines if they can’t hire enough people. This will enable them to continue serving their clients and meeting industry demand.
The same could be said of industries like public transport, corporate travel, and even the movement of hazardous materials.
While autonomy can help struggling industries, the risks make it imperative for those using these vehicles to have the right insurance coverage.