Change is inevitable. The future of the automobile industry lies in self-driving cars, and Artificial Intelligence is at the core of it all.
The field of self-driven automobiles is one which continues to be researched extensively. Tech giant Google is one of the companies that is battling alongside Tesla to make breakthroughs in the self-driven automobile arena. In 2009, Google started its journey in self-driven automobiles and has since strive to make self-driven cars safe and secure for everyone around the globe.
Since 2009, Google has been making remarkable strides in its Self-driven automobiles. In 2012, the company achieved a milestone, the company’s self-driven car had covered more than 300,000 miles. It is in that light that the company added to their fleet introducing the Lexus RX450h. The company also started giving their employees the privilege to test the cars on highways by using them for work and weekend trips.
The company also shifted focus from simple stress-free environments to the complex environment of city streets with pedestrians.
2015 witnessed Google’s “Firefly” hit public roads for the first time and in 2016, Google’s self-driving car project rebranded and called itself Waymo. Waymo’s main objective is to make it safe and easier for people and things to move around. Recently, Google added to its fleet the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan.
The recent introduction of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan has been met with mixed reactions. In a post dated Tuesday 31st October 2017, Julia Wong remarked, “Riding in a self-driving car is a bit like the passenger experience. You climb into the back seat of a minivan and watch in awe – or horror – as the wheel turns itself above an entirely empty driving seat.” She further adds, “The Google minivan rates pretty low on the cool car quotient compared to Tesla’s falcon-winged Model X and Uber’s sleek semi-autonomous SUV.” Waymo reports that the minivan is capable, reliable, and safe.
“We might not evoke sexy blade runner visions of Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, but we definitely make sense for a company that needs to convince parents to put their children in minivans,” remarked Waymo.
Waymo has been making efforts in reassuring passengers on the safety of their self-driven cars. Recently the company showed off its first attempt at a user interface for autonomous vehicles. Surveys have revealed that people are still having issues with the technology.
“Surveys reveal a spectrum of attitudes with some people skeptical and very scared of the technology,” commented Dimitri Dolgov, vice president of engineering at Waymo. He further added, “A ride in an autonomous car is normally enough to flip a switch and convince most people they are safe. But that has still left open the question of how to get them into the vehicle in the first place or to provide a running explanation on why the cars behave the way they do.”
Other companies experimenting with self-driving technology have tried giving their riders some insight on why the cars respond in a certain way. Uber, the famous ride-hailing company, is trying to give their clients a feel of what it means to be in a self-driven automobile.
The company has also been working on self-driven automobiles, and they have designed their cars to have a tablet facing the back seat which displays a visualization of what the car sees with its sensors.