As a young girl, I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to grow up and live in this modern age of technology. It seems as though everyday I hear of some new gadget hitting the stores, and each time the next is even more cutting-edge than the last.
I was amazed when I heard that a car could have a touch-screen display or administer hands-free phone calls. All this seems extremely trivial compared to the latest invention I have come across – self-driving cars.
When I first thought of the seemingly impossible idea of a car that could safely and effectively drive itself through a busy street, my grandma came to mind. Considering she barely lets me drive her around the block she lives on, I would love to hear what she has to say about this latest invention.
Our world has become driven and obsessed with technology, but it has also become a place of innovation and creativity that can potentially make our lives safer and easier. Many will wonder if these self-driven cars or machines can actually simulate, or even outperform, the capacities of a human.
Initially I was skeptical of the idea that a car could drive itself. But as I began to research and find out more about the technology behind it, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. Companies like Audi and Google have privately performed test drives of these machines over and over again in the lab and are just now beginning to open up tests drives to the public.
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Early reports from individuals who’ve been lucky enough to ride in these cars have begun to tell the whole world about their experiences. Participants claim that it’s not a wild, adrenaline-filled ride as one might expect. Instead, the cars are found to be extremely cautious on the road.
In fact, passengers even reported of being bored at times. A machine may seem extremely dangerous compared to the likes of a human brain, but safety records may suggest that having a person behind the wheel is not necessarily a safer bet.
As humans, we can get distracted or make a wrong move. Unfortunately, accidents can happen as a result. The creators of these cars are not only looking to make people’s lives easier, but to make the roads safer.
Regarding making our lives easier – people who maybe couldn’t drive due to certain physical limitations, may now have the opportunity to get behind the wheel with the help of these machines. We may also be able to multitask safely, like sending a text or eating our breakfast as we travel to work.
This technology has a ways to go before it is perfected, certain abilities such as exiting or merging onto highways or dealing with bad weather need some adjustment. Current versions have the driver taking over control whenever necessary, without resistance from the car.
Experts and developers are still working on perfecting the technology so that it can be potentially widespread in the coming years. From what I have read and heard, I think the opportunities that lie ahead could be extremely beneficial in so many ways. I also think that with a detailed explanation and the knowledge that “each car now collectively possesses 40 years of driving experience” (source: http://theoatmeal.com/blog/google_self_driving_car), my grandma may even be accepting of these new inventions.Written by: