Driver-less Cars – How They Will Make Aging Easier

vehicle system capability, internet of things road transport. Modern vector illustration concept, isolated on white background.

It is a current reality and has been for some while that there is such a thing as driver-less cars, Google has them out on the road.  What you may or may not know is that researchers and car manufacturers are working hand in hand to make this a reality on a more massive scale.

At the moment there are very few options for buying an autonomous vehicle.  What happens and why these cars work at all in the first place is because they sense their surroundings. Using GPS, Radar, Computer TV and Lidar in combination, the car’s computer is able to assimilate and accurately process the information. These systems are very complex but are then able to force the car to react accordingly at very fast speeds.

What is important to focus on is that this in of itself is a huge feat.  For a vehicle to be autonomous it must perform well with unknowns, must be adaptive and must solve problems without interference. This is a project that has not only gotten some media coverage but has got government agencies taking this feat seriously.

The National Highway Safety Administration has classified Autonomous in a formal classification system.

Level 4: The vehicle controls everything, the driver is not expected to control the vehicle at any time. From start to stop the cars computer controls everything

Level 3:This is when the car is controlled by the driver, but if need it can control certain essential functions, such as provide enough time to transition safely

Level 2: This would be considered if the vehicle has cruise control or lane assist

Level 1:This refers to ESC, Electronic Stability Control and automatic braking

Level 0: Driver controlled 100%

Advantages of autonomous cars are quite enumerable and in no specific order.

  • Reduces space for parking, since these cars can be much smaller.
  • Fewer traffic accidents, these cars can plan for almost everything.
  • Less fewer accidents due to human error.
  • Possible higher speed limit if cars are autonomous
  • Alleviates parking congestion
  • Smoother rides
  • Less space being taken up, if the steering wheel and driver console are removed because  they are no longer necessary.

Driver-less cars are the wave of the future.  Stop and think of how many elders cannot go anywhere and a lot of them are stuck within the confines of their own homes.  They need to rely on people to pick them up, or they need to live close to functional public transportation such as a train, bus or ferry.  What if you didn’t need to rely on anyone just where you were going, some address is what you needed to have more autonomous.  Just imagine what that would do for our aging population here in Houston, now think about what impact that would have at a national level.  We have to start somewhere and scientists are doing just that.

It is important that we continue to support this type of advances so that way we can help our fellow citizens. Help those who have been left behind, help those who for whatever reason can no longer drive, either due to aging or disabilities.  All of us deserve the right to travel, to feel the wind in our hair as we drive down the interstate.