One area of transportation technology which is rapidly developing insight to change the world is driverless cars. Also known as the Thomas cars, the undermanned vehicles can travel without human input.
Experiments have been underway since the 1920s while developments towards driverless cars were made also in the 1950s. However, since 1987 the idea has become more mainstream with several companies conducting their own research to develop driverless models.
There are several different levels of this type of automation. Level zero, which is what most people will be familiar with, is the standard car where automation rarely intervenes except in instances such as parking sensors. The levels increase to level five which requires no human intervention at all, with several levels in between such as level to which is a hands-off approach.
Driverless cars incorporate a broad range of technologies. The basic principle relies on multiple senses and a map which generates a location of the car in relation to its surroundings. The cars are also able to recognize other vehicles and react accordingly, for example, even though the car is getting too close.
Quality skepticism surrounding driverless cars they have in fact proven to be much safer than manned vehicles. Human errors are eliminated from the process of driving and it’s important that the driverless technologies could potentially eradicate up to 90% of accidents.
There is also a strong social argument. For elderly people or the disabled it would be a cost-effective way of mobility. It is also that the driverless cars will cost less to ensure as technology is more reliable than a human being.
There are some drawbacks to the driverless car. It can be difficult for artificial intelligence to function suitably in busy cities and competition for space on the radio spectrum could inhibit how well the operation could work if potentially millions of cars were drawing on this resource.