Are Self-Driving Cars Actually in Our Near Future?

I’m sure you have all heard something about the development of self-driving cars and that soon enough there will be plenty out driving on the roads. But after not hearing any news on this matter for so long I had to ask myself the question, “Are they really that close?”

I discovered through an article titled “How Do Self-Driving Cars Work?” that self-driving cars can function thanks to three types of technology. First there’s IOT Sensors that are for “blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, radar, camera, LIDAR, and ultrasonic” which all work together to help with the navigation of the vehicle. There’s also IOT Connectivity which allows the cars to use cloud computing for information on traffic, weather, maps, different conditions, as well as adjacent cars and this “helps them monitor their surroundings better and make informed decisions.” The final technology that helps out self-driving cars is Software Algorithms. There is a ton of data that needs to be collected and “analyzed to determine the best course of action.” If this doesn’t work as intended to it can lead to accidents.

The fact that we have this kind of technology to help us develop self-driving cars is amazing but the problem is car makers and technology companies have overestimated just how long it would take them to do so. In an article by The New York Times it is written that, “making autonomous vehicles is going to be harder, slower and costlier than they thought.” The article states that Ford and Volkswagen have recently teamed up to work on this challenge and plan to use autonomous-vehicle technology from Argo AI. Argo’s chief executive and others “attribute the delay to something as obvious as it is stubborn: human behavior.” It can be hard to get the technology just right and the cars “have to navigate unexpected situations every day.” With radars and cameras it’s easy for the cars to detect the different objects around them on the street, but “the hard part is anticipating what they’re going to do next.”

What and Toyota’s Driverless Cars Might Look Like

Even with all the advanced technology that has already been developed to help create these self-driving cars, there’s still not enough. There’s more that’s needed to help make the car drive perfectly on it’s own and this includes “software that can reliably anticipate what other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are going to do.” The CEO of May Mobility, which operates autonomous shuttles said that “she believed it would take years and perhaps even a decade or more to develop driverless cars that could travel anywhere, any time.”

At the beginning of this “game” there was “this incredible optimism” and a huge rush to try to make this realistic dream a reality. However, the truth of the matter is that it’s just a bit farther out of reach than we all believed it to be.



“How Do Self-Driving Cars Work?”

“Despite High Hopes, Self-Driving Cars Are ‘Way in the Future’ ”


4 thoughts on “Are Self-Driving Cars Actually in Our Near Future?

  1. I think self-driving cars will appear on the road very soon. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has defined 5 different levels of self-driving cars. Tesla is in level 2 range. According to NHTSA “An advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) on the vehicle can itself actually control both steering and braking/accelerating simultaneously under some circumstances. The human driver must continue to pay full attention (“monitor the driving environment”) at all times and perform the rest of the driving task.” Which mean that Tesla vehicle can drive by itself, and the driver only needs to be careful about emergencies.
    Not only Tesla, but lots of other company has also approached a high level of self-driving cars. According to ” Waymo is probably the most publicly visible company, with driverless vehicles that have been roaming the streets under test conditions for more than 10 million miles (plus more than 7 billion miles of simulation driving). ” Therefore, I think due to the development of technology, such as 5G internet and computer algorithms. The fully self-driving car will be on the road very soon.

  2. There are lots of reason why the self driving car takes more time than expected to be perfectly built. As the article says, even with current advanced technologies, it is not enough to build a self driving car. Since there are tons of things to be considered when car drives by itself, it is not surprising that it is taking so much time to develop it. Ford and Volkswagen are the biggest motor companies. They have the history, technologies, funds, and etc, but they are struggling with making a self driving car.
    It is not just a problem of making a car, but it could incur lots of issues. It might take even more time to legislate a law related to self driving car than to make a car. Also, there might be some issues with the insurance companies. For instance, if there is an accident while car is on a self driving mode and the person gets hurt, who will compensate for the car and the person? the insurance company or the motor company? It might be hard to figure out if the accident is caused due to the technical issue or something unexpected happened.
    Thus, furthermore than just making a self driving car, it is necessary to legislate the laws related to this advanced technology. Also, insurance company better begin consider about the issues that would occur with the invention of self driving cars.
    Considering all of these factors of making self driving car, I think it would take longer time for us to get our life eased with the self driving car.


  3. Technology is going to take over the world in the future. Self-driving cars are enviable. That’s the direction this world is heading in. I think we will have self-driving cars, apps on our phones that will control the safety of your houses, cars, getting groceries, and anything else major in our life. What our phones can do for us is scary because our phones will be able to track our every move, figure out when we are sleeping, going out for dinner or work, and control what we need to be doing. This YouTube video called, “ The Internet of Everything” is showing us that there is an app that controls the temperature in your room, the clocks in your house, shows you your schedule for the day, what you want for breakfast, any coffee or tea you want, locking the front door, and so many crazy other things the app will do for you. (“The Internet of Everything”. YouTube, uploaded by Qualcomm, 9 December 2014, Having all this technology is taking away the value of getting groceries yourself, remembering to lock your doors, and learning how to drive. These are things that everyone learns how to do in order to grow up. If we have technology that takes over the small things in our lives what will be left to worry about and learn.

    Technology is helpful don’t get me wrong; it’s that technology is trying to take over our lives. Technology is trying to prove to us how important it is to have a click of a button to control our every movement. To make our lives easier. Technology taking over would get rid of any face-to-face interaction/ communication because the apps would take care of everything before you had the chance to handle a certain situation.


  4. Another factor in the delay of self driving cars is the safety concern. Any time a self driving car gets into an accident, there is sure to be widespread media coverage that follows. Consumers therefore mainly hear about self driving cars in a negative light when “according to statistical data, you’re almost certainly safer in a car driven by a computer than one driven by a human.” This negative stigma people have developed towards self driving cars has hindered their acceptance into our everyday lives. Manufacturers of self driving cars will not be as inclined to continue developing these technologies if there is no market demand for it. They have to fight the current stigma that these cars are still very unsafe and reeducate consumers on the issue. So in addition to these cars being “harder, slower, and costlier” than initially thought, the attitude towards them must dramatically change before they become a commonplace technology.


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