Are you aware of the advancements in the automotive industry? Artificial intelligence and connected vehicles are interesting inventions in the field of vehicles. Autonomous driving of a vehicle is a technology in which a vehicle travels itself without the help of a driver. It is also known as Self driving electric vehicle.
What is a Self-driving electric vehicle?
A self-driving car is capable of driving itself sensing the environment with no help of a driver. They are the driver-less vehicle and also known as the autonomous car.
Read to know more about Types of Autonomous vehicles, how they work, etc.
Driver assistance systems are implemented in a car to enhance the driver’s convenience. Driver’s assistance includes below features.
- Automatic lane-keeping
- Cruise control
- Adaptive cruise control
- Automatic parking assistance
- Helps in blind spot detection etc.
An autonomous car is the one which is 100% driver-less vehicle. The vehicle should be capable of traveling from one predefined location to another following the rules on road without human intervention.
Does that kind of a vehicle exist?
We would say electric vehicles are not a revolutionary invention but autonomous vehicles (self-driving electric vehicle). Ability to analyze the environment and react according to the conditions is not an easy process.
The human brain does this receiving signals through the senses. A self-driving car is supposed to analyze the environment and react based on the circumstances.
Why should a self-driving vehicle be all-electric?
It’s not a rule that the self-driving car should be all-electric. Environmental pollution by conventional fossil fuel vehicles makes electric vehicles popular.
Alternative fuels used in vehicles are also not 100% pollution-free. Autonomous driving of a vehicle can be pollution-free and “green” if the vehicle is a battery electric vehicle. Self driving electric vehicle drastically reduces environmental pollution (zero noise, zero-emission)
Another notable advantage of electric vehicle autonomous driving would be something like below.
Assume wireless charging is enabled for an autonomous car. Then the car charges itself from the wireless charging station. No human help is necessary to charge the vehicle. A vehicle moves itself to the location where wireless charging is established and charges the battery itself. Is it cool?
Advantages of autonomous driving of electric car?
No human intervention is required in a fully autonomous car. So, the public transportation using autonomous vehicles would be a great advantage if they work very smoothly.
Driver drowsiness might result in vehicle accidents in long journeys. A driver-less vehicle that moves itself carrying passengers perform well and does not result in an accident especially during late night and early morning.
Proximity sensors, cameras, etc. installed in the vehicle sends information about the surrounding to the “brain of the vehicle” – the vehicle control unit. Complicated decision making as if a driver does is performed by the vehicle control unit.
An autonomous vehicle acts as a personal assistant who can go to the shop and bring some vegetables for you. Of course, the shop keeper has to put the bag in the car but you dont need to drive or a driver in the car!
How interesting it is if your car travels to your kid’s school and picks him up and comes to your home.
A car with a driver has only limited visibility to its surroundings. It’s too difficult to have an eye through the top of the vehicle.
But an autonomous car can have a sensor on the top of the vehicle. And it can react to help the passengers from unexpected situations that might cause a vehicle crash.
When a puppy jumps across the vehicle, the driver reflex might not be sufficient to break the vehicle so that that kitten is safe and so the passengers. But an autonomous car does this!
The whole point is that autonomous vehicles are more aware of the surroundings than a car with a driver.
Challenges of Self driving electric vehicle
Autonomous vehicles are machines. They can not have emotions (?). As far as the developments in the field of artificial intelligence are concerned, a car can follow the exact rules on the road and complete its travel without a driver.
Failure of electronic circuits results in accidents in a self-driving electric vehicle. It’s a serious hazard that vehicle behaves unexpectedly if the circuits fail. Who is liable for self-driving car crash?
There are possibilities to hack into the software of a connected vehicle and intruder software control the vehicle. What if a hacker does this and make the vehicle run and hit everyone!
Even though the above-explained scenarios are having remote chances to happen, they should be avoided in the vehicle.
The behavior of the vehicle for unexpected circumstances is unpredictable. For example, what would a driver do if an old man asks for a lift? Sometimes he stops his vehicle and sometimes he doesn’t.
What would an autonomous vehicle do if it comes across a crowd where a vehicle accident happened.
We can say that those scenarios are out of the scope of autonomous driving.
Government policies are not in favor of using autonomous vehicles widely. Obviously, once the technology gets matured policies will be updated.
Waymo – Autonomous driving project of Google
Google started autonomous car projects in 2009. Later they established a company named Waymo to proceed with autonomous driving projects.
Waymo is a self-driving technology company with the mission to make it safe and easy for everyone to get around—without the need for anyone in the driver’s seat. They say that their journey started at Google in 2009, and became Waymo in 2016.
Autonomous driving of a vehicle is a revolutionary invention by which a vehicle travels with no help of a driver. A self-driving vehicle which is all-electric would change the future of transportation.
We briefed about autonomous cars, their advantages, challenges, and example projects in this article. Advantages of a self-driving electric vehicle will boost the process of adoption to autonomous driving.
- Autonomous cars are a driverless vehicle
- Autonomous cars are more aware of surrounding than normal cars
- Google does have an autonomous car project – Waymo