June 27, 2015

Robot cars!


It's in the news that two robot cars had a chance meeting on the road in the US. A while back, my IE group mates and I thought that the topic of robot cars, specifically Google Cars, would make a great final paper for our Business Government and Society class.

Many cars manufacturers have been incorporating computers into our cars for some time now. From computers that track fuel efficiency and temperature to those that can now self-park your car. Many people think that it is this type of incremental innovation that will eventually be the future of robot cars.
However, Google and a few other companies, are thinking of a future where robots and computers control the entire driving experience. In several states in the US, legislation has been passed enabling companies like Google to test 100% computer driven cars.

There will be plenty more tests and hurdles to overcome before we see these cars on the road regularly outside of testing phase. However, this chance encounter would have taught both Google and Delphi Automotive a lot, especially since they would have been running on different systems.

The main barrier to getting more robot cars on the road is probably going to be a psychological one. People will have to be convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that relinquishing control of their vehicles to robots is safe. People like control, so this is going to take time.

Personally, I can see how robot cars can improve traffic flow efficiency and save both time and lives. It will eliminate human error and road rage will probably disappear completely. Robot cars should be able to communicate with each other allowing them to travel at high speeds with minimal risk of accident.

I look forward to the day when 100% computer driven cars are something we see regularly. How about you, how do you feel about robot cars?

Read more about this piece of news here