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Self-Driving Cars Pick Up Speed


For several years now Google has been known for their self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are able to brake, steer, change lanes and navigate without any human intervention. According to Industry Week, Google’s self-driving cars have autonomously driven over 1 million miles. While there have been some instances where humans have had to take over to prevent a crash, it has not deterred other car manufacturers, such as BMW, Tesla, Audi and several other auto manufacturers, from creating their own self-driving car.

In 2016 Uber began to test self-driving cars in Pittsburgh and Arizona. Uber retrofitted Fords and Volvos with self-driving capabilities and invited select loyal customers to ride in their self-driving car. The test ride allows for two passengers with a driver and engineer sitting in the front seat to ensure there are no problems.

Automakers have big plans for self-driving cars in 2017. Ford and Volvo will begin to test their cars in overseas markets, such as Europe, Sweden, and China. In addition, GM plans to begin conducting tests in snowy weather to ensure self-driving cars are able to handle any driving conditions. Tesla has already begun installing hardware that improves the Autopilot’s capabilities in current cars and plans to have a self-driving car drive itself from Los Angeles to New York by the end of 2017.

To speed up the introduction of automated vehicles into the market, the federal government pledged $4 billion dollars over 10 years to the Self-Driving Car Initiative. This initiative will fund the research and testing of self-driving cars. In addition, the initiative aims to improve the U.S. transportation system and vehicle-to-vehicle communication which will help cars avoid obstacles through better awareness of the surrounding environment. As metropolitan areas grow, the use of self-driving cars will reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety. To learn more about how self-driving cars work check out the video below.

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