Not very long ago, self-driving cars were nothing more than imaginary elements of certain cartoons and science fiction pieces. Today, they’re a reality. Though the automated vehicle industry may not be progressing quite as quickly as many experts originally expected, it’s certainly gaining steam. An elite few companies are developing the software and other components necessary to make vehicles maneuver themselves without human intervention. You can view their website to learn more about the technology involved.
Automated vehicles are making appearances in many cities across the nation. Rideshare companies are racing to take advantage of the innovations now being offered by companies like Torc Robotics. In fact, 100,000 rideshare customers in Las Vegas had received rides from fully automated vehicles by mid-February of this year alone. For the most part, passengers were completely satisfied with their experiences.
Taking a Look at the Public’s Concerns
Quite a few people remain leery about vehicles that drive themselves. Some feel they’re a bit too reminiscent of the Terminator movies or Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive and Christine. Others simply don’t feel comfortable relinquishing control to a machine. Doing so just seems to venture too far into the science fiction realm.
That being said, according to realtimecampaign.com and other sources, their fears are completely unfounded. After all, computers are much less likely to make mistakes than humans, right? When it comes to precise calculations and not succumbing to the many distractions drivers face these days, that’s inarguably true.
On the other hand, many people are quick to point out some potential issues. For one, self-driving vehicles are equipped with sensors to avoid collisions and programmed to understand the rules of the road, but they lack the human element. People often use eye contact, hand signals, and other aspects to communicate with other drivers on the road. Automated vehicles just don’t have the capacity to use those tools or understand them. Still, manufacturers and other authorities are taking specific steps to eliminate all the possible kinks.
In the midst of all the fascination and concerns surrounding automated vehicles, many are wondering What coronavirus means for the future of self-driving cars. Truthfully, that remains to be seen. Considering the current fear of spreading germs, though, it stands to reason rideshare customers might prefer not having to be in close quarters with a human driver. This factor may very well drive an increase in demand for automated cars for the foreseeable future.
From another perspective, people may also worry about the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and other pathogens carried by previous passengers in their rideshare vehicles. Human drivers can easily wipe down their vehicles’ interiors with sanitizing spray to minimize the hazards, but artificial intelligence can’t. With this in mind, self-driving vehicles may soon come equipped with UV-C radiation technology to eradicate viruses and bacteria between picking up passengers. This type of technology is already on the market and being used in hospitals and other settings.
Self-driving vehicles are here though not quite in the numbers many analysts expected. They haven’t exactly caught on with the general public, either. Regardless, they’re here to stay, and there’s little doubt that they’ll become more prominent during the years to come.
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