Changing lanes is simple for human drivers. Not so for autonomous cars. Instead of gray matter and muscle memory, self-driving vehicles make decisions using programming, artificial intelligence, and onboard perception systems such as lasers, cameras, and radar.
A truck is a means to get cargo from point A to point B. A truck is a home, a job, a frequent guest in small towns that straddle highways, a way of life, and the beating heart of several supporting industries, all designed to keep the truck and its human pilot running. A truck is expenses, a breakable machine controlled by a fallible human, subject to labor laws and rules about interstate commerce. A truck is all of those things, and it may soon be a robot, too.
Uber is losing money faster than any technology company ever, and it’s largely because of an essential component to the company’s operations: the drivers.
If puttering around in the daily grind of traffic fills your annoyance bucket, take heart: self-driving cars will be in major city centers in 5 years, and they will be coming in hot. In fact, they’ll likely be commonplace everywhere within just 10 years. These nifty new vehicles have the potential to shake up your life in areas extending well off the road. Here’s why:
Just few weeks after Google got us all excited about its impending fleet of autonomous Chrysler minivans, the company’s Self-Driving Car project announced that it’s packing up at least part of its operation and moving it to Detroit. Ford, hide your engineers!
While other autonomous cars continue to grapple with things like trying to figure out where lanes are on poorly painted roads, Ford’s self-driving project managed to develop a vehicle that doesn’t even need to see ahead. Ford didn’t let it, either—they shut off the headlights and let the car loose in total darkness.
The emergence of new automotive technologies and practices like ride-sharing, on-demand services, and the introduction of autonomous capabilities seems like it would have a diminishing effect on future automotive sales—but studies suggest we may actually see the opposite.