The latest addition to the world of cars and transportations include cars, but not drivers. The next step in the automobile industry is to make a car that can be driven without a driver.
Maybe it sounds strange, but there are a lot of projects like these. A few years ago, Audi made a self-driving car that was tested on a track. It had a better lap time than when it was driven by a driver. In addition, China used to try develop a car like this. Accordingly, we can assume that this trend is going forwards and in any time soon, we will be able to get the first self-driving car that has the ability to travel without help of a driver.
The latest project is done by Uber, who is currently testing a self-driving car in Pittsburg. Locals can see that car on the streets and the main goal of Uber is to develop a car of this type that is safe for other drivers, pedestrians and animals. Uber is using Ford Fusion, a hybrid version equipped with different cameras, sensors and lasers which are needed to read the road signs and send the information to the main computer. Eventually the car will be able to travel to the desired location and transport passengers, without an actual driver.
The main point of this project is also to reduce the risk of road accidents, simply due to the fact 94% of them happen due to human errors! Uber is planning to reduce this number and they have help from Volvo, Google and several other, major companies. Eventually, the self-driving car will become a reality and as the end result, the risk of road accidents should be reduced and transportation should be increased. There are high applications for this car, due to the fact it can be used as a taxi car, completely by Uber and for other transportations. Eventually, we will be able to see busses and trains with drivers as well.
All data, collected by the Ford Fusion that goes without a driver are sent to the main computer, where they are processed. Then, the computer sends the correct parameters that follow the road signs and correct speed and the alignment of the starting wheel. This is a complicated procedure that involves a lot of computer power and it is complicated to explain. However, during the first test, a driver will be in a cart and his role is going to be to monitor the car and make sure everything is going according to plan.
There are a lot of projects of this type at this moment, but all of them are far away from the goal. Simply said, it is hard to program the car and make it self-driving due to the fact there are a lot of variables that must be sorted. In addition, this is more demanding and harder than most people believe, but is possible.
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