Friday, December 16, 2011
By Ramendra Singh
Self-driven cars - From fictions to reality
Cars running on roads without any one on the driver seat, taking the passengers to their destinations, controlling speeds, throttle and doing everything that a driver does. Many of you may have started thinking that I am reading lines from a since fiction as we already have so many of these kind. For instance, Jetsons of 1960s and Knight Riders of 1980s both had similar self driven cars playing a major role in the storylines these books. Some of you may have started recalling seen of a Hollywood movie showing the similar cars in action. But wait; hold on to your imaginations, I am not talking about any fiction or any Hollywood movie. This could be a real scenario in coming days, as researchers at Google have been successfully testing such cars on roads for a long time now.
Though we have always been talking about the self driven cars by they are yet make their mark in the real world. Still, not a single one of them was there till now. But what will be your reaction if I would say that such cars will soon be available and you can soon buy one such car that doesn’t need any driver to be driven.
A highly proficient team of Google is working on developing self driven cars, an innovation that is yet to reach its final stage. The cars that are in the making at Google memorize the minute details of the road infrastructure. Carrying all road maps in computerized form in brain, these cars can very well determine where to go and how to judge the road signs and anticipate them.
The increasing number of fatal car accidents can be brought down to a very low figure very efficiently by developing such self-driven cars. If we take the number of people died in road accidents US, it was at 32,788 in year 2010 only, as per the data released by the Department of Transportation, there. Moreover, the problem of lack of parking space, an issue that is growing day by day, can be solved up to a certain extent by these self drive car, as these will be programmed to be parked exactly where a car should be parked and they way it should be parked.
Interestingly, these cars can see the road blocks and traffic signals, well before a human high can see them. In addition to this, the reaction time will be much lesser, thanks to the advanced technology used in these cars. These cars are blessed with advanced and up to the task cameras, radars and lasers. These specialized equipments can analyze and share the traffic information much faster as compared to a human brain. The self driving cars at Google have already completed the travelling of more than 3 lakh km on the public highways of Nevada and California. Not so surprising, these cars so far have a 100 percent safety record.
If implement with an improved infrastructure, the self –driven cars can completely transform the way traffic looks like. The long traffic jams, congested roads in cities due to parked cars everywhere. Imaging, you cine in a self driven car that returns back as soon as it drops you at your destination. Mean no headache to park it, which will result in no headache for others.
One more aspect that I have completely ignored in this blog so far is fuel economy. We all know that if driven in a particular manner, the fuel consumption of a car can be reduced considerably. Thus, the self driven cars can be made highly fuel efficient by programming them to do so. The volatile fuel prices that are making a big dent in your pockets will be no longer a big worry with self-driven car, as the when the consumption of fuel throughout the world will reduce, the fuel priced will become more stable and cheaper.
The researchers throughput the world have now started looking at the concept of self-driven cars with a hope, the days are not far away when these cars will the change the way you commute completely. They will not only make your drive safer and cheaper, but would also solve the problem of parking space very well. Eagerly waiting for the day when the affordable production version of such cars will be launched in the global market.