July 14, 2015 Leave a comment
14 July 2015
Self-Driving Cars and the Economy of Fuel
By Beth Kelly
Internet search leader Google is testing its self-driving automobiles on public roads this summer. This latest phase of testing follows previous successful trials, further indicating the fact that the reality of driverless cars is coming ever-closer to fruition. It’s only a matter of time before these autonomously operating vehicles begin to displace “traditional” human-directed cars – a development that will have serious repercussions across the whole of society.
There have been plenty of features introduced over the years to make driving a car easier, like power steering and cruise control, but Google’s driverless cars are a whole new ballgame. The on-board computer will handle accelerating, braking, steering, lane positioning and all other functions without human intervention, turning the “driver” into little more than a glorified babysitter. These awesome capabilities are made possible by the fusion of sophisticated sensors and cameras with heavy-duty computing machinery to process the incoming data and determine the correct action for the vehicle to take at all times. Indeed, it’s fair to say that this new type of automobile will be more tech gadget than horseless carriage.