What are autonomous vehicles and how do they work?
Autonomous vehicles are vehicles (mainly cars) that drive themselves. These vehicles have a history behind them, and also a future. Self-driving cars use sensors, processors, algorithms and more. They create a map of their surroundings made from sensors. They also use cameras to detect stop signs, pedestrians, etc. It is predicted that over half of the vehicles made by 2025 will be autonomous.
How, when and where did self-driving vehicles begin?
In GM's 1939 exhibit Norman Bel created the first self-driving car. It was controlled by electromagnetic fields. By 1958 Gm made this exhibit a reality. The car’s front end has sensors that pick up coils so the car knows if it is about to hit anything. In 1977 a Japanese man improved on that and put a camera system to relay info to a computer. The improvement came from a german a decade later the car can drive by itself safely at 56 mph.
Autonomous vehicles now
In 2009, Google started its self-driving car project. In 18 months, Waymo was launched. In 2016, it had its first crash. Which seems bad, but it took 7 years until it crashed. So they are very efficient. This year, Honda might release a near-fully autonomous car. Also, in a year, BMW is projected to release the BMW iNext, a fully autonomous car. Many other companies are making self-driving vehicles as well.
Autonomous vehicles in the future.
Experts say we are decades away until everyone will be driving autonomous cars. However, with all these companies getting in on self-driving, these experts could be wrong. GM already has self-driving vehicles. Ford is planning to make some too. Same with Honda, Renault, and Toyota. These cars will not be fully autonomous, but soon they might be.
Other self-driving vehicles
Not only cars and trucks are self-driving. In Boston, an experimental boat spent the summer of 2017 in Boston Harbor. Autonomous drones are also a thing. Could we get other self-driving vehicles in the future?
Pros and cons of self-driving vehicles
While autonomous cars can be a huge improvement, they do have some risks. Here are pros and cons of self-driving vehicles:
Story by Maxwell Jones and Rowyn Esslinger