Yes, you read that right, self-driving cars will become a reality in another 5 years. Crazy as that sounds, it’s not going to happen in Gurgaon, so you can rest easy and hold onto your horses. (wink)
A self-driving aka autonomous car essentially means a car that doesn’t need a driver to go from point A to point B and that relies on software, additional hardware and Internet to drive them around. Leading car and tech companies are pumping in billions of dollars to make self-driving cars a reality. In fact, the competition is so fierce, it has woken up the most traditional car makers to jump the bandwagon and announced their own autonomous cars.
Who’s who of tech and automotive industry are working furiously to come up with technology that will change urban transportation as we know it. Apple, Google, Uber, Nvidia, Tesla, GM, Ford, VW, BMW and lot many other companies are spending heavily on autonomous car R&D. With so much of economic & brain power being pumped into this technology, the day is not far when driverless cars will become the norm.
Who is racing ahead?
Tesla, Google, and Uber are clearly ahead on the learning curve than most of the other companies. Google’s self-driving car project started as early as 2009, at a time when most of the companies weren’t even considering the technology as serious. In that sense, Google had a clear lead and its self-driving cars have clocked almost 2 million miles in test runs.
However, Google has clearly lost the lead to Uber and Tesla. Both of these companies have clearly caught Google napping and are coming out with amazing feats to bolster their autonomous car leader claims.
Tesla already offers an autonomous feature called autopilot in all its in-production cars with hardware already installed on their cars. That’s an enormous feat, giving them ability to update software remotely and update self-driving capabilities of their cars. See Tesla Autopilot in action:
Uber is catching up with Tesla and coming up with its own technology for self-driving cars. It has put a lot of sensors on the top of ford fusions which are being tested in Michigan, Uber’s test bed for its self-drive car initiative. Having driverless cars makes a lot of sense for Uber as it will allow them to completely automate its ride-hailing service.
Uber users in Pittsburgh are now part of a pilot program where they will get to be part of the future and have a chance to ride around in a self-drive Uber car.
How the Future Does Looks?
Self-driving cars will become a reality in the next 5 years. Advanced countries like the U.S. are leading the charge and providing a healthy ecosystem to encourage the development of futuristic technology for autonomous cars. By 2017, Tesla plans to drive an autonomous car from LA to New York. All major car companies Honda, Ford, Nissan, BMW, etc. will be coming out with self-driving cars by the early 2020’s.
The biggest hurdle for the future of self-driving cars is not the technology but regulations and government support. If governments and local bodies come together, then self-driving cars will become a reality faster. Just recently, Michigan State in U.S. passed a law that will allow self-driving cars to legally ply on public roads for testing and eventual sales as well after it passes regulatory requirements.
The future of self-driving cars is very promising and a lot of great minds of the world are racing to make it a reality. All we got to do is sit back, relax and let them self-drive this tech into our lives for real.