According to several news agencies, the auto industry is developing so many new technologies that, pretty soon, motorists won’t be doing any more of the driving
Within a decade, some believe that the newly developed self-driving car by Google should be available to all consumers. During this week’s SAE International World Congress, cars that will be piloting themselves will be taking on the roads and allowing drivers to be nothing but passengers. Experts believe that by 2020, the technology might be ready for the take off, which could also mean that the number of accidents will lower and the roads will become safer.
A recent study carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has indicated that out of the information extracted from cars’ black boxes, 1 percent of drivers involved in major collisions applied the brakes at full strength right before the collision. However, over 30 percent of all drivers involved in the collisions studied failed to apply the brakes. About 220 lives were taken in the 910,000 rear-ended accidents that were analyzed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Accidents that involved braking mistakes, cost over $45 billions to the entire country. Data shows that, certain human components, once taken out of the occasion, could help the self-driving car technology to keep vehicle occupants safe.
In 57 percent of all accidents, drivers did not perform any major speed changes prior to the accidents while 65 percent of the accidents involved drivers who were speeding at the time of collision. Motorists continue to be involved in accidents also due to distractions. Autonomous car technology could make accidents less likely exactly because the computer will never be distracted by a phone or an iPod while behind the wheel.
Google and other companies developing the autonomous technology hope to make mistakes less likely and as a consequence, increase safety and make driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle much more pleasant.
According to the news, Nissan Motor is also working on developing a system that would take the wheel and operate the vehicle promptly if the driver does not respond to the situation in time. The active safety systems are already readily available in multiple small vehicles and trucks. This technology works along sensors ad cameras that identify potential problems and send signals to the car’s computer in order to activate the system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed a new dummy car that was modeled after a Ford Fiesta that is used in tests involving vehicles with sensors.
Pedestrian dummies are also used to test how well the vehicle would respond if a pedestrian suddenly steps in front of the vehicle.
According to the news, the pedestrian dummy wears a Charlie Sheen mask.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Google car, click here for the full article.