Self-driving cars aren’t as far into the future that many may think. In fact, many of today’s cars are “self-driving” in one way or another. Features such as brake assist and adaptive cruise control are considered “advanced driver assistance systems”, but the general public considers parts of them as autonomous.
These modern features are only the beginning of a car’s capabilities, thanks to the advancement of both software and hardware advancements for cars. For example, radar and lidar help cars understand their surroundings, while neural network algorithms and big data help develop a car’s decision-making and object-recognition skills. These combined attributes continue to enhance a car’s ability to operate without a human at the wheel.
However, it’s also important to consider the costs of these conveniences and how increased car autonomy impacts things such as car insurance, car costs and overall safety for passengers, drivers and pedestrians. Safety increases in one area can unintentionally result in a decrease in safety in others. For example, more and more hackers may find self-driving cars more appealing as they look for ways to exploit these systems.
The Simple Dollar website put together this animated guide to self-driving cars to illustrate each level of autonomy, show how self-driving cars work, and highlight the safety risks created by autonomous vehicles. Take a look at the infographic below to learn more.
Source: The Simple Dollar