The self-driving car & truck revolution is less than a decade old. The auto industry’s interest in self-driving cars has steadily picked up, and their activities have as well. It’s similar to the way in which the auto industry embraced electric cars after the introduction of Tesla new EVs. There is now a host of companies involved in developing and manufacturing self-driving cars including: Tesla, Uber, Google, Toyota, BMW, Volvo, Nissan, Ford, General Motors, Daimler, Audi, Baidu, Honda, Hyundai, Bosch, PSA Groupe (Europe), Faraday Future, LeEco, and Apple.
According to reports, Google’s self-driving car, a project of Waymo, an Alphabet company, which stands for A New Way Forward in Mobility” doesn’t have the steering wheel, accelerator or brakes and have logged more than 700,000 miles in learning to deal with thousands of complex traffic situations typically encountered on the road. Google’s self-driving cars use Google Maps technology to navigate highways and cities.
Self-driving cars use sensors to help get a picture of the environment and use GPS to navigate. According to industry analysts, Google is running into problems with its “top cautious” approach to driving. Anyone who’s driven in thick traffic understands that driving too slow can actually be a hazard to everyone on the road.
Some believe that self-driving cars are still years away because of these types of problems.
How the Internet of Things Will Help Self-Driving Cars
One major development that could impact the speed of adoption of self-driving cars is the buildout of the Internet of things (IoT). With sensors embedded all over automobiles, the road, traffic signs, street signs, etc., self-driving vehicles will have more information to process to deliver a safe riding experience. As the number of sensors and data collected increases the safe use of self-driving cars will be attainable.
Finally, some of the technologies currently in use in self-driving cars such as cameras and map data are becoming more accurate and faster through the use of high definition and 3D technologies.
In the following video, “The Grand Tour: Self-Driving Cars,” the message is that self-driving cars are already here.