Did you know that Nevada issued the first self-driving car license in 2012? This occurred eight years after the first Darpa Grand Challenge for autonomous cars was held. Not one of the vehicles were able to complete the course at that time.
In less than a decade, carmakers went from a convention that displayed some not-ready-for-prime-time "robot cars" to legal, licensed self-driving cars on the road.
How did they do it? How were they able to develop automobiles that didn't need drivers?
Google, the company that received that initial self-driving license, has used numerous technologies to make autonomous driving possible. Video cameras, lasers, and radar sensors are some of the gadgets you will find on these cars.
But the most important part of an autonomous auto is the database. This information has been collected from cars driven the old-fashioned way and then stored in a powerful computer. The autonomous car can access this information to help it navigate.
While self-driving cars are not commonplace now, much of the technology is already in many high-end automobiles. These partly autonomous cars have brakes that can activate if the car senses a coming crash. The cruise control can automatically readjust so cars are never too close to other cars. They can even steer in a way that prevents drifting and some can park by themselves!
These forms of technology are going to aid all drivers, even if you're not in an autonomous car. Everyone will feel the effects because self-driving cars improve traffic flow on highways by controlling distances between cars. Also, the automated parking search feature will ease congestion in urban settings.
And since essentially all car accidents are caused by human error, these systems will make driving safer. Self-driving car companies don't just want less harmful cars, they are striving to make crashless cars.
Roads filled with only self-driving cars may still be years away, but all of us can do our part to keep the roads and expressways safe. One way is to complete the scheduled auto maintenance on your vehicle. We'd love to help you over here at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair.