Ladies and gentlemen, the future has arrived. As we make our way through the 21st century, the line between science and science fiction is becoming increasingly blurred. With the government already utilizing unmanned aircrafts for military operations, and companies like Amazon experimenting with drones for lightning-fast deliveries, it should come as no surprise that self-piloted cars not only currently in development, but also in the process of being tested as you read this.
In a recent article by The New York Times, Ford and Google have partnered to support the driverless car initiative.Nissan has stated that they will sell a driverless car by 2020. And IHS claims that they will have several models available by 2025.
Sure, the nearest solution is still four years out, but last year, a team of Delphi Engineers drove an automated car 3,400 miles, from San Francisco to New York City. Granted, the car did have a driver in it at all times in case something went wrong, but 99 percent of the drive took place in the car’s fully automated mode. The car was an Audi Q5 SUV modified with cameras, radar and laser scanners.
The specific automated Audi Q5 would be ridiculously expensive for a consumer– to the tune of more than $500,000 when you consider all the radar systems, sensors, cameras and driver awareness monitoring systems. But like all technologies, it’s presumable that this technology will become less expensive with time. Remember HD flat screen TVs when they were first introduced?
The Q5 used for the driverless trek doesn’t look out of the ordinary, with the exception of the special graphics painted on it. But the controls and screens on the inside certainly aren’t standard equipment.
There are still quite a few questions to debate about driverless cars, like who’s at fault if there is an accident? How will insurance companies insure driverless vehicles? And what will the traffic laws be regarding self-driving cars? But rest assured they’re coming. Many of their developers believe that because they will eventually eliminate human error, and the human tendencies to be distracted, or careless, or reckless, that the roads will eventually become safer than they are right now. And as crazy as it may sound, some believe that it will eventually even be illegal to manually operate a vehicle on a public roadway because in time, automated cars will eliminate the number one cause of accidents – human error.
Of course, there will always be the chance that an automated car’s safety features malfunction. And there’s always a chance for the non-driving car accident to occur. And when it does, there’s no doubt that Caliber will be ready to make the necessary repairs and get the car back on the road, and get you back to the rhythm of your life.