Driverless Cars – The End Of The Human

Driverless Cars – The End Of The Human

Driverless Cars

We should have seen it coming. The decline of the relationship between human and car has been gathering pace for years. First we saw automatic transmission replacing manual gear changes, then cruise control removed the need for pedal pushing on long open roads, and finally GPS systems replaced the map. Now, it seems the next major revolution of the motor industry will be driverless cars, doing away with the human input altogether.

In truth, it’s probably a good thing. Despite what we tell ourselves, we aren’t very good drivers. We’re easily distracted, we crash, we break speed limits, and we run red lights. It is believed that of the 10 million annual road accidents in North America, 9.5 million are a result of driver-error.

What role does cloud computing and big data have in the emergent industry? Could Google soon be driving you to work?

It appears that widespread adoption of driverless cars is now very much on the auto-driverlesshorizon. As of August 2012 Google had completed 500,000 miles of driverless testing, with not one reported accident or incident. Ironically, the only crash in which a driverless car was involved was near Google’s headquarters when a human was controlling the vehicle.

The technology is impressive. Using a 64-beam radar mounted to the top of the car, the vehicle produces a constant 3D model of its surroundings. This model is then correlated with existing high resolution maps of the area and thus produce a wide variety of data sets that the car uses to drive itself.

The ‘car cloud’ has huge benefits to drivers aside from the removal of the physical need to operate the car. Imagine a situation where a crash has created long delays five miles in front of you. The car cloud would relay the information and details of the crash to the other cars in the area – instantly rerouting them via alternative routes. The cloud would also help ensure none of the alternative routes got too busy, streaming cars round a variety of different routes in the most efficient way possible.

The huge amounts of data collected by the cars has both advantages and disadvantages to an owner. On the positive side, the data will help you with insurance claims. Until adoption of driverless cars near 100 percent there will still be accidents, but the way the car constantly models its environment and records every part of a journey in the car cloud means that liability will be easy to apportion and prove.

On the negative side, there is a question of privacy. Who owns the data produced by the cars? Recording where, how and when the car was driven, and including information about the performance of parts within the car, the data is inherently valuable. Already there are examples of manufacturers asking buyers to sign a waiver that grants the manufacturer permission to use the car’s data, and producers are likely to stick with this process as the cars become mainstream. Younger drivers may not question the idea of signing away their privacy, but for older drivers it will certainly be a sticking point.

What’s your opinion? Are driverless cars set to make our roads safer? Who is responsible in an accident between two computer controlled cars? What is the future of the existing car industry? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

 

About Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.

Find out more
View All Articles

3 Responses to Driverless Cars – The End Of The Human

  1. Assuming accidents between driverless cars are due to mechanical failure, it’s still likely to be the owners fault as it is currently. So it’ll be covered by the owners insurance.

    However, insurance rates should drop drastically since the number of accidents is also dropping.

    I reckon this is what will push adoption of driverless cars, they’ll be far cheaper to insure than normal cars, indeed at some point insurance companies may even refuse to insure manually driven cars.

    What will be interesting is how governments will handle the transition. After all there’s no need for a drivers licence if you’re being taxi’d around. And licences are lucrative for governments which support a fairly large infrastructure (DMV).

    Those most affected will be those who work in the car support industry, taxi drivers, motor rego and driver licencing. We’re in for some interesting times…

  2. Will this mean no age limit either? You put your kids in the car… When they get out of school it drives them home? What about the commercial vehicles.. Truck drivers, school busses, mail delivery?

    Hmm.

  3. Exactly!

    Forget Uber as a threat to the taxi industry. Driverless cars will completely annihilate it, and Uber too.

    Truck drivers by law (in Australia) must take rest breaks, thus slowing down efficient delivery times. Driverless trucks can run non-stop except for fuel stops, and even then how about in-drive refueling tankers?

    School buses… well it’s all about safety and driverless vehicles won’t be prone to human error. Aside from initial parental misgivings, what parent wouldn’t prefer the higher level of safety?

    Fun times ahead

The Fundamentals of Predictive Analysis

The Fundamentals of Predictive Analysis

Predictive Analysis  Article sponsored by SAS Software and Big Data Forum Analytics is playing an increasingly important role in our lives thanks in large part to internet of things (IoT) developments and a greater appreciation of Big Data. With solutions that range across business productivity, health care, individual and national security, new insights are regularly…

Clouding Around With The Unicorns

Clouding Around With The Unicorns

The Social Unicorn Early investors and technology consumers alike love the poignantly named “Unicorn” companies, or private startups that reach the $1 billion valuation. The most recent unicorn spotting is social media game-changer Snapchat, which was recently valued at $16 billion. According to a recent infographic from Alexa discovered via Adweek, Snapchat also proves to…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Cost with Managed Printing Services

Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Cost with Managed Printing Services

Managed Printing Services This is a sponsored post written on behalf of HP MPS.  Today’s business leaders recognize the value of shared services, significantly providing a wide range of enterprises with the sophisticated tools they need to compete with big business, while additionally driving costs down. But an area often overlooked in our tech-savvy world…

Curing Cancer With Big Data

Curing Cancer With Big Data

Cancer & Big Data The fight against cancer has been going on for centuries. Many leaders have tried and failed to bring about change to cancer treatment. Richard Nixon famously declared a War on Cancer with the National Cancer Act of 1971, and while the Nixon administration certainly increased research funding, they ultimately fell short…

5 Predictions For Education Technology

5 Predictions For Education Technology

Education Technology Although technology has fast influenced most sectors of our world, education is an area that’s lagged behind. Many classrooms still employ the one-to-many lecturing model wherein the average student is catered for while a few are left behind, and others bored. Recently, there’s been a drive to uncover how to use technology successfully…

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Against You?

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Against You?

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Imagine this:  Your wearable device is subpoenaed to testify against you.  You were driving when you were over the legal alcohol limit and data from a smart Breathalyzer device is used against you. Some might argue that such a use case could potentially safeguard society. However, it poses…

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations Everyone knows what the cloud is, but does everybody know where the cloud is? We try to answer that as we look at some of the most unusual data centre locations in the world. Under the Eyes of a Deity Deep beneath the famous Uspenski Cathedral in the…

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

Ambitious Startups An oft-quoted statistic, 50% of new businesses fail within five years. And the culling of startups is even more dramatic, with an estimated nine out of ten folding. But to quote Steve Jobs, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” So while…

New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware A new report published this morning by Menlo Security has alarmingly suggested that at least a third of the top 1,000,000 websites in the world are at risk of being infected by malware. While it’s worth prefacing the findings with the fact Menlo used Alexa to…

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Data-Driven Marketing There is an absolute endless amount of data that is being accumulated, dissected, analyzed with the important bits extracted and used for a number of purposes. With the amount of data in the world has already reached into multiple zettabytes annually. A Zettabyte is one million petabytes or one thousand exabytes. With data…

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

Compelling IoT Industries Every year, more and more media organizations race to predict the trends that will come to shape the online landscape over the next twelve months. Many of these are wild and outlandish and should be consumed with a pinch of salt, yet others stand out for their sober and well-researched judgements. Online…