The first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine was created in 1885. For more than 130 years, driving a traditional car became an integral part of the modern world. We simply cannot imagine our lives without automobiles, trucks and carriers, public transport, agriculture or logging vehicles, or emergency ambulances. Not to mention, our beloved motor races filled with exciting sports cars. Nevertheless, it’s 2022 now! In this era of technology, AI, and ML, the world leans toward automatization and the automotive industry is no exception.
Today, self-driving cars include concepts such as fully autonomous cars, as well as self-driving, driverless, automated, and robot cars. They are some of the most anticipated technology advances in the world of automated things.
In shorts, a self-driving car is a vehicle that can move safely with little or no human effort. Self-driving car technology combines a variety of sensors that perceive the surroundings, while advanced control systems interpret this information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevant signage.
The future of this technology may have an impact on multiple industries. It has the potential to revolutionize our experience with commuting, long journeys, as well as take people out of high-risk working environments. Besides, it’s key to lowering carbon emissions and paving more sustainable ways of living. According to the stats, more than 1.3 million people die each year in traffic crashes. Meanwhile, driver assistance technologies in today’s vehicles are already helping to save lives and prevent injuries.
Several projects to develop a fully self-driving commercial car are in various stages of progress, but there are still no fully self-driving cars available for everyday consumers. Autonomy in vehicles is deemed in 6 levels from no automation to totally automatic with an optional steering wheel.
On the one hand, we have seen an improvement driven by traditional players such as Audi / Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Ford, GM, Toyota. On the other hand, start-ups like Google / Waymo, Uber, Cruise, and Byton are investing to take leaps forward. For example, Waymo became the first service that offers driverless taxi rides in Phoenix, Arizona in 2020. Though there is no driver in the car, it still has remote human overseers. Nuro, another American robotics company, started autonomous commercial delivery operations in California in 2021.
Despite the significant progress, most of the public consumer automobiles are still operating at Level 3. Level 3 refers to conditional driving automation. In March 2021, Honda became the first manufacturer that released a legally approved Level 3 vehicle – Honda Legend. In December 2021, Mercedes-Benz became the second automaker to get legal approval for a Level 3. The best cars with self-driving features of 2022 are Tesla Model S, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Cadillac CT6, Volvo XC60, Infiniti QX50, BMW X7, and Nissan Rogue.
As the months pass driverless technology is truly becoming more a part of our lives. Self-driving vehicles are steadily turning out to be a reality despite the many hurdles still to be overcome. Therefore, we can expect even more technological advancements and reliable self-driving cars in this decade.