Autonomous Cars

Discussion:
  1. How does it work?
  2. Is it on the market and how much does it cost?
  3. Why is there a need for it?
  4. Is it reliable?
  5. How will it affect work places?
  6. What will it affect the driving experience?
  7. Do you prefer to be in control and enjoy the driving experience of a regular car or sit back and let the car take you?

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Autonomous Cars

In a few years, autonomous cars will freely navigate the roads. An autonomous car—or driverless car—is a vehicle that senses its surroundings and can steer itself without the assistance of human contact. The vehicles of the future use a mixture of radar, GPS, computer vision, and more to navigate around other cars, detect traffic lights, and look out for pedestrians. The technology is impressive, but when we already have fully functioning cars, why is there a need for ones that self drive?

Globally, about 1.3 million people per year die from car-related accidents and 20-50 million are injured. In theory, computer-run cars are safer for passengers and fellow travelers. Companies such as Tesla, Google, and Audi are hoping to decrease the number of wrecks by developing cars that react much faster to their surroundings than humans can and won’t be easily distracted on the road. Another reason for the invention is that driverless cars could help those who cannot drive get from point A to point B. The car, which would function like a taxi, would pick them up and drop them off at their desired location. 

The automobiles are still in the testing stages, but according to Business Insider, autonomous cars will be available beginning in 2019. Prices will range from $20,000 for a semi-autonomous Honda Civic to $120,000 for a Google manufactured product. These cars are potentially more reliable than their human operated counterparts because the computers would automatically follow the rules of the road while accurately anticipating the actions of fellow vehicles. It is still too early to tell whether they will be reliable in all conditions, but so far, the cars cannot drive in snow or heavy rain. 

Jobs will be both created and lost with the new technology, but it is unclear as of now how they will affect the workplace. One thing we know is that the driving experience will be vastly different. Thanks to the self-driving function, passengers can sleep, read, eat, or even be on their phones during the journey. Whether you would prefer to be the car’s second set of eyes, or watch youtube videos, autonomous cars will certainly be an adjustment for all.