BY PAMELA ECHEMUNOR
Let’s paint a typical scenario: You are on your way home from work and you enter a traffic jam, if you had the option to keep driving or engaging the autopilot, which would you pick? Most would go for the latter option which is the true meaning behind autonomous driving.
Although, the main purpose for this solution is to reduce road accidents as much as possible, it comes with numerous other perks like traffic efficiency and ease of access, it also promises to be operated by electricity reducing emission of gases. People would walk the street and not feel threatened by an incoming vehicle, right? Hmm…
According to research, as much as these cars are being tested and, on their way, to being trusted, it does carry a cloud of doubt. One of it being the ability to discern real-life scenarios: if the driverless cars were to choose between striking a pedestrian on the left and hitting a tree on the right (which is equally as damaging to its passengers), what choice would it make? Data was collated, and as is unique to every person, so were the answers.
This brings us to what big time car companies are doing within their power to clear these doubts.
We will look at a few of them:
Around October 2015, Swedish mogul and Volvo car group CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, announced that they would be accepting full liability for driverless car accidents. At the time, Volvo was one of the first few car companies to promise such… that is not to say that if instructions were not followed to the letter, the liability would not be shifted.
Their 93 plus years have dented quite an impression on the minds of people; being on the frontier of innovation and forward-thinking tech ideas, they promised ‘eyes-off-the-road’ cars giving you better use of your time while commuting. Although not yet foolproof, the progress is steadily underway.
Waymo LLC, a subsidiary of Alphabet launched their ‘robotaxis’ a little while ago and have since then made significant improvement on mileage coverage. According to Waymo’s director of systems engineering, Nick Webb, he stated that “Waymo is building vehicles that allow passengers to ride in the back seat while the front is empty.”
Not only are they covering short-distance commutes, but they are also going the long haul… literally. An arm of the company called Waymo Via specializes in self-driving items and goods locally. With every step, they are making their way closer to complete ease and safety.
Tesla has long been known as a pioneer in the automotive industry branding their self-driving initiative as “Autopilot”, its functionality, one of the most advanced, appears to be inching closer to perfection. The only known drawback according to experts is that the steering wheel inputs used to monitor if the driver is concentrating and the facial monitoring functions have not been fine-tuned.
Regardless, the brand continues to upgrade and release new outstanding features.