While once thought to be science fiction novels or films, self-driving vehicle are now actually a thing. Discover out what you need to know about the vehicles of the future so you can be ready when, and if, they enter the streets in larger numbers.
The Future Already Here
Many manufacturers already have prototype cars that are being tested. Google, Audi, BMW, Volvo, Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Tesla are all working towards mass production of self-driving vehicles. Google’s version has already been on the roads in California to know what works and what needs to be changed for maximum reliability and safety.
How It Functions
Self-driving vehicles rely on a plethora of cameras, lasers and built-in sensors to keep track of the road, surroundings and other cars. These inputs are constantly being monitored by a compute, letting the vehicle to make adjustments as required for other traffic and road conditions.
Manual Modes Included
Most automakers involved in developing these cars are including a manual mode that will permit a person to take over driving or just sit back and be a passenger. It is believed that this will be the only real option for carmakers if they want lawmakers to support having the vehicles on the road.
A major concern of self-driving vehicles is how responsibility works if there is an accident on the road. For now, the consensus is that if the vehicle is in manual mode, the person driving will be responsible if he or she is considered at fault. If the vehicle is in self-driving mode and either causes an accident or malfunctions, the automaker will take responsibility.
Technology Already In Use
While autonomous vehicles might seem like something that can’t possibly occur any time soon, it’s vital to understand that similar forms of the technology are already in use. Park assist, adaptive cruise control and other similar features discovered in new vehicles employ facets of the self-driving vehicle. Each of these systems takes over some aspect of driving when activated, indicating that drivers are already learning to trust their cars to keep them safe.