Driverless Cars – The End Of The Human

Driverless Cars – The End Of The Human

Driverless Cars – The End of the Human

auto-driverless

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 horizon. 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

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Follow Me!

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.
Follow Me!

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

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Monetization of the Internet of Things – Q&A With Brendan O’Brien

Monetization of the Internet of Things – Q&A With Brendan O’Brien

Q&A With Brendan O’Brien, Co-Founder of Aria Systems (Part 1) Monetization of the internet of things (IoT) is one of the most exciting and challenging issues facing the industry today, so we spoke with Brendan O’Brien to learn more. Brendan is the Co-Founder of Aria Systems, who are one of the leading innovators in recurring…

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb About Latest Posts Follow Me!Daniel PriceDaniel is…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts It’s no secret that Cloud Computing is more than just a buzz term as that ship has sailed off a long time ago. More and more companies are adopting the uses and benefits of cloud computing while aggressively factoring cloud services spending into their budget. Included is an excellent…

The Education Revolution: Cloud In The Classroom

The Education Revolution: Cloud In The Classroom

The Education Revolution: Cloud In The Classroom With the back-to-school season now upon us, parents, students and teachers everywhere are once again struggling with the perpetual challenge of making kids job-ready in a high-speed and fast-changing environment. There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that information technology plays a central role in all areas of life…

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

The Internet Of Things In 2020 The growing interest in the Internet of Things is amongst us and there is much discussion. Attached is an archived but still relevant infographic by Intel which has produced a memorizing snapshot at how the number of connected devices have exploded since the birth of the Internet and PC.…

Featured Sponsors

The Internet of Everything Opens Up The World

The Internet of Everything Opens Up The World

Shaping The World With New Technologies As a connected collection of intelligent objects, the Internet of Everything promises to open up those areas of the world hardest hit by economic, political and agricultural blights. Relatively inexpensive devices, paired with revolutionary energy sources and unprecedented access to information offer great promise to farmers and workers in…

2015 Advertising Opportunities - Find Out More!

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Blue square_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter