Picture the not-too-distant future. On your drive to work you do your makeup, eat breakfast and read the news. All made possible by your self-driving car.
While this might seem like something straight out of The Jetsons, it will be a reality sooner rather than later. Some experts are predicting the roads will be filled with self-driving cars in just a few years. It might seem like this is just a trend that won’t go anywhere. (Google Glass anyone?) The reality is that this technology has been in the works since the early 2000s, and some of this technology is already in use.
There is still much work to be done, and many questions to be answered. But self-driving cars are certainly in our future. Here is a look at what the road to self-driving cars might look like.
First stop: A little help, please
You might not have realized that the road to self-driving cars is one we are already on. Many cars have features such as cruise control assistance and collision and pedestrian warning. These cars use radar, lasers and cameras to detect objects or people you might be about to crash into. These features give drivers a little bit of extra help, but the driver is still 100 percent in control.
Second stop: I still have my hands on the wheel
The next stop on the self-driving car road means the driver is still in charge, but there are a few more automated functions. In this stage, cars can accelerate, steer and park on their own. Many cars on the market now already offer these features, and self-parking cars are proving themselves particularly popular.
Third stop: Now you’re just the co-captain
We’ve now driven past reality, and we’re on the theoretical road of the future. In this stop on our journey, the car is officially the captain and can drive by itself. While driving, you will be able to read a book, fold your laundry, or paint your nails. While the car is in control, you still need to be capable of driving should the need arise. In some situations, such as construction or bad weather, you may be prompted by the car to take over.
Fourth stop: Relax while you drive
Eventually, you will only need to drive in an emergency situation or if you request control. The car will still have a cockpit and wheel just in case, but you’ll be able to fully relax while in the car. You could eat, meditate or do your taxes.
Fifth stop: No driver needed
This is the final stop on the road to self-driving cars. Not only is there no driver, there’s not even a driver’s seat! Cars will look completely different since there will be no need for a cockpit. Passengers won’t need their driver’s license, and there won’t be fights over who is the designated driver.
There are many questions that need to be answered before we reach the last stop on the self-driving car journey. Some people are excited about the idea of self-driving cars. Transportation will be accessible to more people such as the elderly and people with disabilities. The roads will be safer as we eliminate the element of human error. However, others are nervous about trusting artificial intelligence