The first self-driving vehicle was invented in 1986 in Europe by a guy named Ernst Dickmanns. He was a scientist and led a group of German engineers. It is known that he and his team failed many times. They even had to get permission from the French government to test this vehicle across the city. This is because this was new, they didn’t know if something would go wrong or even cause damage to someone or to something.
On his first test, the fastest he managed to get the car was 90 kilometers per hour which is equal to 56 miles per hour. After a couple of years, he lost his interest in the project so he stopped funding it. Before long, his project would be forgotten
A self-driving car is a vehicle that is being controlled by a computer or artificial intelligence. While design details vary, most of the self-driving systems create and maintain an internal map of their surroundings, based on a wide array of sensors, like radar.
Most self-driving prototypes use sixty-four laser beams, along with other sensors, to construct their internal map; Google’s prototypes have, at various stages, use lasers, radar, high-powered cameras, and sonar. All of this helps with making the ride smoother and safer of course. A software then processes all of the inputs then finds a path and sends instructions to the vehicles “actuators”. The actuators control the acceleration, braking and steering of the vehicle. This is all controlled once at a time.
Hard Coded Rules help the software tell the difference between vehicles like bikes and motorcycles. It also helps with following all the laws when driving.
The impacts of this can be very good. It is estimated that around 40,000 people die each year from car accidents in the United States of America. Then 1.2 million die each year from all over the world. Car accident is the leading cause of death for people under thirty-five. Self-Driving vehicles could reduce that number gradually. It isn’t the cars that get distracted,they don’t get tired, they don’t fall asleep, and they don’t drink and drive. It is us that cause crashes Software is less likely to be error-prone than humans. There is one problem though. That is cybersecurity. Hackers can hack into your car and do anything they want with it. They can control it, change the lights and etc. Another pro is that I can drive people that can’t drive to places. For example, people who are disabled or even elderly people. These cars could be very useful. The bad thing of this is public transporting will get affected negatively. More people who are disabled or elderly would start to use these Self-Driving cars instead of taking buses. Even apps like uber could be affected negatively because no one would be calling in cars. Another pro is it affects the environment in no way. Most cars today release a gas called Carbon Monoxide. That gas is causing global warming. With the Self-Driving vehicles, they don’t release anything since they are electronically powered. All you have to do to get them going is plugging them in with a charger. The vehicles themselves could actually be cheaper than other gas running cars. The range on the cars are not that long, they could go around 150 miles in one charge and it takes an estimate of 4 hours to fully charge the car. You would save a lot of money on gas. Although there has been crashes with the car even fatal ones, they reduce the chance of some happening. It may be years or even decades before self-driving systems can reliably avoid accidents.
To this day there are no cars that are legally driving with no one inside of them. There are cars that are self-driving but with someone inside of them. Some examples of these cars are Tesla’s, Mercedes’s, and Audi’s. You can even move the car around with your phone by installing the app. Currently, there is only Vans and tiny smart cars that are being self-driven. Someday we might even have Self-Driving pickup trucks, eighteen wheelers and more. We already have auto pilot on airplanes so that should be coming very quick.
Artificial Intelligence controls these cars. Artificial Intelligence is intelligence demonstrated by machines. They play a major key role in these cars. It acts like humans but as a machine or robot. It tells the car where to go. Artificial Intelligence can be very bad to the economy. This is because it will take everyone’s place at factories where they make clothes, food and cars. AI can pretty much do whatever we tell it to do.
Cars can also be a wasted investment. Americans spend tens of thousands of dollars on a car—more than any asset besides a home, on average—but leave the machine idle for 95 percent of its lifespan. As the automobile is the mechanical equivalent of a sloth, it only follows that it would need ample room to nap. In cities like Philadelphia, Seattle, and New York there are four parking spaces for every household, requiring gaping cavities of concrete in some of the most valuable real estate in the country.
The car can also be a luxury. Think about a room on wheels. They make the seats as comfortable as they can. The pod itself could come with applications such as Netflix, Email, and Wi-Fi. This will change the way we see transportation all across the world.
But not everybody is so enamored by this vision. “I see our future of autonomous vehicles going either towards a heaven scenario or a hell scenario,” says Robin Chase, the co-founder of Zipcar. If self-driving cars are as useful as their creators say, everybody will want one, every family, every car company and city trying to build a municipal fleet, and every retailer trying to put their business on the cheapest, most-valuable real estate available: public roads. Without smart urban planning, the result will be infernal congestion, choking every city and requiring local governments to lay ever-more pavement down to service American auto mania.