The Next Machine Age: Dawn of Automated Cars

September 24th, 2014

One of the biggest buzzes from the Silicon Valley comes straight from Google: The driverless car. Google demonstrates this car in this video. An automobile that takes you to your destination without you having to control the steering, gearbox, acceleration or brake. It analyzes traffic hazards and obstacles and navigates through them effortlessly without driver input. The convenience of this would improve our society’s efficiency and multitasking by multitudes.

Imagine this on a personal individual level you could be going to work while FaceTiming your children to make sure they’re okay for their first day of school or you could be finishing up that thrilling novel you’re reading. Consider the elimination of human error from driving, this could remove tailgating, reckless driving, and even prevent the hitting of pedestrians. Intoxicated driving would no longer be such a danger on the road. The possibilities are endless and the effects would be pervasive on all levels of society.

The technology is a major stepping stone outside of personal and individual usage. It’s a major stepping stone and could lead to other inventions. Traffic lights could be synced with each car and prevent traffic jams during peak hours. Emergency service vehicles like fire trucks or ambulances would be able to respond accurately and quickly to emergencies with automated and synced driving systems. Imagine construction on the streets and highways being automated, fewer construction workers being in danger of being hit.

Google is hardly the only one to have invested time and money to this research. It’s been since the 1990s that the government and private businesses have been creating and perfecting this technology for future consumer usage. Honda, General Motors, BMW, and more have all been testing out automated driving technology on their vehicles. With so many companies racing to push out the first fully functional self driving car, it won’t be long until most cars on the road will be automated. A future that we thought impossible a decade ago, is now right in our horizons.

Sources: Reuters, Engadget, CNN, Youtube