Self-Driving Cars: The Future

For a while and in class, there have been talks of autonomous cars such as Google’s, Mercedes’, and Tesla’s to name a few. Needless to say, the introduction and implementation of this technology into society would be revolutionary. We would no longer need a driver in our car, ride with a stranger, or potentially even have someone with a license in the car.google-lexus-fx450h-autonomous-vehicle-1

While the positive implications are endless, there are definitely several drawbacks that I can see. First, accidents involving self-driving cars would be a nightmare since ‘the driver’ is nonexistent. In addition, car insurance would be almost useless once everyone has an autonomous car. Furthermore, the social aspect of meeting a driver and carpooling would be diminished significantly. While the race to perfect and bring self-driving cars goes on between automobile behemoths such as Tesla, BMW, Mercedes, and even Uber, I read about a 26 year old hacker who has just raised $3Million towards his startup, comma.ai, which aims to bring a ‘kit’ to consumers which would include the computer vision software and the cameras for less than $1000 before the end of 2016. According to the founder, George Hotz, the kit will be relatively easy to install, on par with Ikea furniture.160404155152-hotz-hack-with-car-780x439

The introduction of DIY (Do it Yourself) kits for self-driving cars could be a game changer since they will be much more affordable. While they might not be as reliable as fully-autonomous vehicles that giant car makers come out with, I think that they will offer a considerable alternative for a cheaper cost, granted the kit only makes your car semi-autonomous for now. Regardless, I think it will be extremely interesting to keep an eye on the autonomous driving industry as well as the variety of players who are eyeing the potentially extremely profitable industry.

8 comments

  1. Interesting post Michael. I rode in a Tesla recently and must admit, I was absolutely terrified of the “auto pilot”. However, if all cars are self driving and there are ways for the vehicles to communicate, i am sure accidents and traffic will be greatly reduced.

  2. I think there will be far more positives than negatives when the fully self-driving car does come out, but I think the technology will take a long time to be perfected and labeled by the government as “safe”. The other issue is cost and I feel like there is enough competition in the market place to drive down the cost fairly quickly. I have watched the videos of Tesla’s “auto pilot” cars and for someone who drives from school back to my home (PA) I would love a feature like this for the long straight highways.

  3. This is something that we definitely need to keep an eye on. Also I wonder about the security issues that arise here. Is it possible that someone could hack into the car’s system? However, making any car autonomous creates many implications, some of which we might not even see until these cars are rolled out on the larger scale. Nice post.

  4. For the people that loves cars and the experience of driving, this looks like the end of the world. I feel that self driven cars will have a place among human driven cars. Regular cars will gain the ability to communicate to self driven cars. It’s a matter of time to have both of them around. I don’t really think that regular cars will disappear once self driven cars establish.
    I’m looking forward where this will take us and the future of transportation. Maybe a better delivery system? Better public transport? Who knows!

  5. Very neat that a “DIY” autonomous vehicle is in the works. Personally, I’m not sure that we’re ready for people to install their own software to have their car drive themselves. What if they install it incorrectly and cause an accident? It sounds like there’s a lot of room for human error. I think that the first self driving cars should be built and monitored by large companies with the resources to ensure safety. Once all the bugs are worked out then we might be ready for this “kit.”

  6. Really interesting! I wonder which direction self driving cars will go in the next few years, if either. It wasn’t until class that I realized just how widespread the effects would be, both positive and negative. I think that despite the cost advantages, people would rather pay extra for a self driving car that was made by professionals, but if the DIY kit can prove that it is just as safe and also easy to install as the cars made by car companies. Regardless, it seems as if we are heading into an age in which these will be ubiquitous, so it will be interesting to see which method wins out!

  7. Hey, this is a great post. I am excited about the fact that self-driving cars are probably going to become more widespread in the next few years. I think that Tesla has a good chance of dominating this market in the future since they are probably the most innovative organization out of all the companies that might be a big part of this new industry. I also think self-driving cars will cut down on air travel because if people can just sit back and be driven somewhere they might choose to do that even it still takes longer.

  8. Great post! I really enjoyed the topic you chose. It was really cool to have you talk about the downside of driverless cars. Most people are so consumed in all of the positive aspects of having driverless cars that we tend to forget what actually are the repercussions of having these on the road. This most post makes me think back to our last class when we were talking about all the different effects of having driverless cars. I think you made a good point of the DIY projects and how that can have an effect on this industry. You did a really good job of describing the new technology and it was helpful for you to list the different companies because I did not know Mercedes was building electric cars. One critique is I wish you went a little more into the technology of it, but it was still an awesome post!

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