Trends are changing in the automotive world, and new technologies are leading the way. This is why many cars of the future won’t require a driver. If you buy an autonomous car down the road, it will help you run errands in a brand new way.
The Key Benefits
Autonomous cars will benefit everyone in the future. They will help passengers, other drivers, the city, and the environment.
Autonomous Vehicles Can Create Safer Highways for All Motorists
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) monitors crash statistics in the United States. This organization reported that 94% of traffic accidents are caused by human errors.
Autonomous technology could help change this discouraging statistic because it can take control away from a driver who displays risky behavior. Technology of the future will sense careless speeding, drunk driving maneuvers, and reckless driving. With fewer accidents on the road, consumers will save when insurance companies are forced to lower their rates.
More Freedom for Differently Abled People and Seniors
An autonomous car will benefit anyone who has a disability. If you normally drive a blind family member or one with serious mobility problems to the doctor’s office and other destinations, you can let an autonomous vehicle be the chauffeur instead. It will give the differently abled person new freedom as the software will be the driver.
Autonomous vehicles could also help employed seniors who aren’t able to drive themselves to work. There will be a transportation market in the future for these seniors; According to the Ruderman Foundation, millions of job opportunities will surface for differently abled people when fully autonomous cars are available. The technology has value as 1 in 5 citizens in the United States with a disability will need some sort of reliable transportation in the future.
A car accident could hurt your family financially. If someone has an accident, you’ll have to pay hospital bills, physical therapy bills, and fees for auto repairs. If your vehicle is severely damaged, there will be charges for replacement parts as well.
It’s nearly impossible to prevent all car collisions in a regular vehicle. Time is the key because a split-second maneuver is the only way to avoid a crash. An autonomous vehicle can complete this type of maneuver faster than a human can. If you drive one, it will reduce your risks, and you’ll avoid costly accidents.
Convenience for the Driver
A group from McKinsey did a study to learn more about automobiles and daily commutes. They discovered that autonomous cars of the future could help people reach their destinations faster. It’s possible because the cars will have software that sets more efficient routes. Overall, if you drive an autonomous vehicle in the future, it could reduce your time on the road by up to 50 minutes.
Less Traffic Congestion for Cities
If you purchase an autonomous car and drive it in a big city, you’ll help reduce traffic congestion. Vehicle accidents cause congestion on highways. If more people drive autonomous vehicles with smart safety features, there will be fewer collisions, backups, lane closures, and traffic jams.
Leaders from the University of Arizona, the University of Illinois, Temple University, and Rutgers University conducted a study. As experts in transportation engineering and traffic flow theory, they gathered valuable data about autonomous cars and their ability to adapt to traffic.
When the results were in, the group found that proper technology would help these cars adjust to normal traffic patterns. If all autonomous cars of the future are designed this way, they could ease traffic buildup. They could also relieve phantom traffic jams, which occur when a city has waves of stop-and-go traffic.
If your community has too many parking zones, autonomous cars could influence change. The city of Boston is already on board. Currently, many tech experts are testing their driverless technologies there.
The World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group believe that autonomous cars can transform a city’s infrastructure. During a collaboration, these organizations found that autonomous vehicles will give people many opportunities to reclaim valuable space because autonomous cars will only need half the real estate that most cities use for parking. If there are fewer parking areas, there will be more property available for plazas or playgrounds.
Key Technology Considerations
If an autonomous car seems interesting, consider buying one in the future. You’ll make a smart buying decision if you understand what features every autonomous vehicle should have.
GPS and GNSS technologies are already available for many semi-autonomous cars. However, driverless cars will use advanced GPS and GNSS software that’s far better than the current technologies. Accuracy matters on the road for safety reasons. In order to prevent accidents, an autonomous car needs to know how to identify the road, traffic, and lanes within centimeters.
Radar and Sensors
Every autonomous car must have sensors and radar. There are three types of sensors. The most common sensors are connected to cameras, and the more advanced ones take advantage of refined technologies. For example, an LiDAR sensor — LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging — uses beams to scan the surroundings. The final sensor is an IMU, which stands for inertial measurement unit.
An autonomous vehicle needs HD maps because these are the only maps that can provide accurate measurements down to a centimeter. When you’re reviewing these technologies in the future, always consider the resolution specs for each system. A very high resolution system will generate the crispest maps. Mapping systems of the future will produce images in 8K, 10K, 11K, and 12K.
A self-driving vehicle must accurately respond to hazards. It can achieve this if it has a smart object detection system.
The Mosaic 51 is designed for advanced object detection systems. It can recognize road signs, potholes, street lamps, and other hazards.
The most important component that a driverless vehicle must have is a DSRC system. DSRC stands for Dedicated Short Range Communications. This technology gives an autonomous vehicle the ability to communicate with other motor vehicles on the road and the infrastructure in the surroundings.
An autonomous vehicle will have a gas, electric, or hybrid engine. If you want to protect the environment for the next generation, it’s wise to buy an electric autonomous car instead of a gas-powered vehicle.
On the road, an electric car will make a difference because its engine won’t produce harmful emissions. A hybrid autonomous car has a greater range, and it produces less pollution throughout extended road trips.
When fully autonomous vehicles are finally available, it won’t be prudent to rush to make an investment on day one. They will be expensive, so you should wait until the prices drop. If you need an affordable car with self-driving features, many car brands offer lane-centering steering and adaptive cruise control to give you a taste of the future.