Tag Archives: driving tech

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The Future Of Driving – What Will We Meet Further Down The Road?

Cars and the automotive industry have come a long way over the past fifty years. From the very early cars in the early 1900s, to the sporty cars of the 1960s, it sure has been one very interesting drive.

If you’re like us, you are probably dying to know where the world of driving will go in the coming fifty years. Will advanced cars like James Bond’s fancy Aston Martin become the norm? Or maybe we will be able to time travel with a car like the one out of the Back to the Future movies?

The truth is, no one can really know what the future holds for cars. But some experts have some intriguing ideas and forecasts. Here are some roads that the auto industry might travel down…

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Pixabay.com

Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars are almost here already. Thanks to some major technological advances, we now have the software and artificial intelligence available to make cars that can actually drive themselves. In fact, big corporations including Google, are said to be on the brink of introducing these to for the public to buy. But why are self-driving cars so important? Firstly, they will mean that you might not have to visit the likes of Elan Law Automobile Accident Attorney quite so often as cars that drive themselves are believed to be a lot safer than those that have a human behind the wheel. That’s because most accidents occur because of poor human reaction times.

Fuelling

There are already a handful of electric cars out there on the road today, and it is believed that this form of fuelling will soon become the norm. It is forecast that electric cars will soon overtake gas cars before long, though. Especially as more and more people become increasingly aware of the issues that petrol and diesel cars are causing for the environment. Plus, lots of people are switching to electric cars because they can be a whole lot cheaper to run. First of all, that’s because you can get lots of tax relief on these green cars. Not only that, though, but plugging them into a mains socket works out a lot cheaper than buying fuel all the time!

Ownership

Did you know that there is also one other aspect of driving that self-driving cars might have an effect on? And that is car ownership. Car sharing will become a lot more common, as people won’t need to have one that belongs to them. Rather than buying your very own car, it is thought that most people will rely on leasing their cars for a specific period of time. Plus, once companies like Lyft and Uber start to roll out their own driverless vehicles, cars could constantly be booked by people whenever and wherever they need them.

So, the next fifty years could signal some major changes for the automotive industry and the everyday driver. Do you think these changes are something to look forward to? Let us know!

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Self-Driving Cars – A Reality?

Like the Industrial Revolution of years gone by, we are on the cusp of another revolution that is set to change everything. The Automation Revolution has slowly been on its way for decades, but it is only now that we are finding uses for automated technology that are beyond factories. Human resources staff can use software to automate payroll and other tasks; we can develop scripts and macros to automate a lot of jobs on the computer. Logistics is also a field heavily impacted by automation as robotics help pack and dispatch goods. There are more examples of automation right now than before. That trend will carry on moving upwards as well.

How does this affect cars? Well – easily. Self-driving cars are becoming more commonplace in conversations taking place regarding automation and the future of driving. The near future as well – Lyft, one of the ride-hail apps that compete with Uber and others wants the majority of its trips to be in self-driving cars within four years. That’s not long away. Not at all.

As with anything remotely, new safety will always be a question and that’s true for self-driving cars as well. Tesla’s Model S was involved in a fatal crash that raised concerns over the true safety of driverless cars. However, that was during a test-phase, using prototype code with a prototype car, but still – these tests shouldn’t have life or death at the end of them! Technology isn’t perfect, and concerns over coding and glitches have been raised – especially so if a flaw with an automatic driverless car means a crash! The Tesla case was strange, as the driver was reported to have been watching a DVD at the time – but what we do know is that neither the car, nor the driver noticed the dangerous situation occurring. Truly a worry. It does look like anyone in possession of a driverless car will need to be ready to assume control at any point and any driver under the influence will still need one of the top DUI lawyers – any driver will still need to have their wits about them in a driverless car. Just in case…

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Google, on the other hand – are making massive advances with safe driverless cars. Tesla’s Elon Musk is arguing for self-driving cars to refuse to let humans take the wheel, as human error should be removed from driving. Google are taking a bit of a different approach. Google’s cars have been involved in accidents, but most of them have been due to other human drivers. It’s a strong point in favor of an AI chauffeur. By 2030 it is expected that self-driving vehicles will make up the majority of car sales in the United States. It will certainly reduce the amount of road traffic accidents, but unfortunately, they cannot be wiped out. Nearly all road collisions are caused by human error; this won’t happen if cars are not controlled by humans. However, will self-driving cars be totally safe? No – the road is dangerous, but self-driving cars will be a reality, and they will be safer.

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What Do Self-Driving Trucks Mean For The Freight Industry?

A couple of decades ago, self-driving vehicles were the stuff of science fiction; the kind of thing that’s only seen in over-the top, action-packed films. However, today, they’re getting very close to becoming a reality. While most companies experimenting with this technology are focussing on consumer passenger vehicles, one firm, Daimler, has begun testing for the first-driving semi-truck. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what this means for the company, and the trucking industry as a whole.

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Source: Pixabay

Although most of the news we see has been focussing on Google’s self-driving project, Daimler has been making considerable strides forward, and just might beat Google to their place in the market. Perfecting the technology for a self-driving freight truck is a marginally simpler affair, as long-haul trucks spend the majority of their time on long stretches of highway and freeway. As a result, Google’s struggling towards its target to release their self-driving vehicles by the year 2020, while Daimler’s Freightliner Inspiration truck has already been officially licensed to operate on public highways in Nevada, USA.

The initial reaction from many people who work in the long-haul and truck servicing industries has been one of panic. With self-driving trucks that are becoming so sophisticated so quickly, many in these sectors assume that their jobs are at risk. While it’s uncertain what this tech will mean for these kinds of jobs, it’s clear that self-driving trucks are far too valuable to turn back on themselves. In the US, heavy trucks represent around 20% of total transportation fuel, but self-driving trucks may be capable of reducing fuel bills by 4-7%. With most long-haul trucks travelling hundreds of thousands of miles through their useful life, this translates into thousands of dollars in savings for the industry every year! Regardless of what it means for workers, the money is simply too much to turn away from.

Daimler, in partnership with Peloton Technology, is leading the way in developing truck platoons that can further reduce the massive cost of fuel, and haul more freight at a time than was ever possible before. While a whole convoy of driverless trucks might sound pretty over the top, it’s technically very feasible. There would be a lead truck, with a single driver in the cab, whose job it would be to lead a convoy of twelve or so trucks along their route. Peloton’s platooning technology allows two or more trucks to connect through a cloud infrastructure, and uses safety features such as active braking, which is already something found in a range of consumer vehicles on the road. While the lead driver would have control over all the trucks in this model, drivers would still be needed to negotiate highway exits, tricky urban streets, and backing up into loading bays. While this is expected to help with the western world’s truck driver shortage, it’s still unclear if any working truckers will lose their jobs to driverless tech.

Self-driving cars still have a long way to go before they become a common sight on our roads, but self-driving trucks are speeding on towards mass production.