7 Things About Autonomous Vehicles You Might Not Know – What would you do if you didn’t actually have to drive your vehicle from one location to another? Would you sleep? Catch up on work? Talk or text on your phone? Surf the internet on your laptop? Autonomous vehicles, otherwise known as driverless cars, could make all of these activities a reality.
Keep reading to find 7 things you didn’t know about autonomous vehicles.
1. The Idea of the Autonomous Vehicle Is Over 80 Years Old
The concept of an autonomous car is not a new idea. In fact, the concept for this type of car dates back to 1939 when GM featured the first self-driving car at the New York World’s Fair. Normal Bel Geddes, an industrial engineer from Michigan, created the car.
2. Autonomous Vehicles Rely on GPS and Sensing Systems
Autonomous vehicles can drive, steer, brake, and park themselves. GPS capabilities help autonomous vehicles do all of these things. These cars also have advanced sensing systems that detect signs, signals, unexpected obstacles, and lane boundaries.
3. There Are Over One Thousand Autonomous Vehicles in the U.S.
There are over 1,400 autonomous vehicles in the United States. Over 80 companies are testing these vehicles. Other countries currently testing autonomous vehicles include Canada, Australia, China, Germany, New Zealand, and the UK.
4. Several States Have Already Allowed Autonomous Vehicles
So far, twenty-nine states have enacted legislation related to autonomous vehicles. This legislation covers various topics, including cybersecurity of these vehicles, insurance and liability, operator requirements, and vehicle testing.
5. By 2040, There May Be Millions of Autonomous Vehicles on the Road
Currently consumers can buy vehicles with advanced technology called Advanced Driver-Assist Systems (ADAS). Many brand new Honda and Toyota vehicles come equipped with ADAS features. However, before vehicles reach full autonomy, they must pass various levels of driver-assisted technology. Some experts predict that autonomous vehicles will be rolling off the assembly line by 2025. According to another prediction, there will be 33 million autonomous vehicles on the road by 2040.
6. There Are Six Levels of Driver Assisted Technology
As stated above, autonomous cars must pass through various levels of driver-assisted technology. These six levels include:
- Humans do all the driving.
- ADAS assists with steering or braking (but not both at the same time.)
- ADAS assists with steering and braking, but the driver still has to pay attention at all times.
- Under certain circumstances, an advanced driver system (ADS) performs all aspects of driving.
- Under certain circumstances, the ADS performs all driving tasks while monitoring the environment.
- The humans become passengers and do not need to do any of the driving.
7. There Are Many Benefits of Autonomous Vehicles
In the United States, 35,000 people die in car accidents, and in almost all of them, human error causes them. Autonomous vehicles could decrease human error, thus making roads safer. Besides increasing safety, autonomous vehicles will reduce traffic congestion, eliminate accident-related costs, and improve mobility for the elderly and those with disabilities.