Startups can help to conjure up some visions about self-driving cars and how they can save lives and get us places faster. They give us the idea that technology for cars can draw less attention, and it is helping to cut down on things like collisions and injuries. If we are planning on moving towards much safer roads, then there are certain features that can make cars easier for us to drive, and they are likely to get us there before vehicles that start to drive themselves.
There are things like advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), which is a technology that is already quite mainstream and has been shown to make a difference. There are things like AOD transmission (automatic overdrive) that can help your vehicle too. Autonomous vehicles (AV) are barely started. Meanwhile, things like ADAS brings an advantage that self-driving cars aren’t able to match: the fact that we do actually want to drive.
Self-driving technology needs to start to overcome some obstacles to help to reach the ubiquitous use that people might imagine, then those people are talking about an autonomous vehicle revolution. So before you panic about AVs out on the road, or wondering what is next in car technology, then here are some of the things that are going to have to happen first.
- Those in the know deem that self-driving cars are safe enough to hit our roads without the backup drivers. But while this is starting to happen in some places, having full approval everywhere is going to be something that is a long way off. In the U.S. it is also not very clear what roles things like federal or state authorities would have to do in order to regulate AVs.
- All roads would need to be repaired or upgraded to accommodate things like AVs, which in many cases will be doing things like signs and different lane markings to mark things out. In the U.S., for example, these markings can be different from one thing to the next, and in a lot of cases, they are aren’t maintained well enough to be really be understood by AVs.
- The automotive market is something that has been completely overhauled. A lot of the big names in AVs both plan to roll out things that can hopefully be embraced by the consumers that use human-driven cars. But something like a full-scale autonomous vehicle industry is that you could replace the human-driven vehicles, so it would need to sell itself to those of us that need and use cars, and a majority of consumers who currently buy and then drive their own vehicle. It is not clear how many consumers would want to pay the excessive premium for their own automated vehicle (which is a cost that is likely to stay high unless things like big sales can boost production volume), or you’d have to give up owning a car.
There are many thousands of lives that could be saved by technology, which helps to cover for our own faults, rather than things that could be an overhaul of mobility that could never actually be complete.