Driverless Cars

2103 Words 9 Pages
Fully automated, self-driving cars are currently a trending topic in the automotive industry, bringing much public interest along with concern as they quickly approach the consumer market. Equipped with an array of built-in sensors and sophisticated computer systems, these cars can drive themselves with minimal or no human assistance. As autonomous cars become widely adopted, they will undoubtedly change many aspects of the everyday life, for better or worse. The way people perceive and interact with cars, road rules and regulations, and the impact of cars on the economy and the environment, all will be affected in different ways. This exciting new prospect of self-driving technology has been a major source of anticipation, as
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In as early as 1939, an exhibit in the New York World’s Fair ran by General Motors (GM), envisioned a future where cars drove autonomously in different highway systems, first spreading the concept of driverless vehicles to the world [6]. However, GM’s concept of the autonomous car at that time was severely limited, as it involved a special electromagnetic strip embedded in the roads that the car must detect, making it useful only in specific highway systems that would implement it [6,7].
One of the earliest example of a self-sufficient, fully autonomous car is from the Eureka PROMETHEUS Project in 1987, led by Ernst Dickmanns and several automobile manufacturers [6,7]. Their first successful prototype, VaMoRs, successfully drove for twenty kilometers in speeds exceeding 90km/h, using two cameras and several sensors and microprocessors. Less than a decade later, newer prototypes made breakthrough achievements, being able to drive in simulated traffic, switch lanes, and drive on the highway at 180km/h for 1,600 kilometers from Munich, Germany to Odense, Denmark. While these vehicles did require occasional intervention by a human driver, these proof-of-concept cars had proved that autonomous vehicles could potentially replace humans in the future. These milestones in achieving autonomous driving earned Ernst Dickmanns the reputation as “the pioneer of the autonomous
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Sensor-based implementation, as expected, uses various sensors around the vehicle to detect its surroundings. Connected car however, utilizes different methods of wireless communication to connect between nearby vehicles and with larger infrastructure. There are benefits and drawbacks for each implementation, though utilizing both concurrently could mean a safer and even more reliable system. Beyond these general approaches, there are many different implementations using different technologies to achieve self-driving capabilities in passenger

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