Autonomous Vehicles: Are they the future?

November 22, 2023 (1y ago)

Companies invest billions each year into autonomous vehicles, betting that its success will revolutionize the automotive industry. However, there is still a long time before the technology is ready to be used by the public. Are autonomous vehicles really going to change the world, or are they just a passing fad?

What is an autonomous vehicle?

More commonly known as self-driving vehicles, an autonomous vehicle is a car that can sense its environment and operate safely without any human involvement. A human passenger isn’t needed to take control of, or be present in, the vehicle at all. An autonomous vehicle would be able to do anything, if not more, that an ordinary car with an experienced driver could do. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) currently defined 6 levels of autonomous ranging from completely manual (Level 0) to fully autonomous (Level 5).

Why are so many companies investing into its development?

Autonomous vehicles have many potential benefits, both commercially and non-commercially. These include an 80% reduction in CO₂ emissions, a decrease in traffic congestion, lower transportation costs, and an increase in space, allowing for new infrastructure to be built.

What are some issues with autonomous vehicles?

Autonomous vehicles rely on either lidar, radar, or a combination of the two to efficiently navigate streets. Lidar However, there are shortcomings with each of these technologies. The usage of radar may have a frequency range too small to support a large number of vehicles, and lidar signals might cause interference among other vehicles.

Autonomous vehicles are a promising technology that could revolutionize the automotive industry. While there are still some issues to be resolved, such as the reliability of sensors and the need for updated infrastructure, the potential benefits of autonomous vehicles are significant. As such, it is difficult to predict whether autonomous vehicles will become the future of transportation.