Autonomous or self-driving cars appear to be something we can look forward to in the future, but in case you didn’t know, there are actually different levels to autonomy. For the most part, a lot of self-driving cars being developed today and are on the streets, like those made by Tesla, are considered a level 2.
In order for self-drivings cars to be able to detect what’s around them, like people, objects, or other cars, it relies on a variety of sensors. One of those sensors is LiDAR which Apple has famously included in its newer iPads and also the iPhone 12 Pro series, and it looks like Apple is now taking that technology and applying it to a self-driving car system.
It is possible that in the future, self-driving cars will become the new standard. After all, if everyone uses self-driving cars, in theory it should be a lot safer as it takes out issues like human error. However, a recently-held self-driving car race has shown that maybe the tech isn’t quite ready for prime time just yet.
Tesla has always been pretty careful when marketing its Autopilot feature, which they have insisted in the past does not turn their vehicles into self-driving cars, even though for the most part it does have certain autonomous capabilities. However, it has not stopped Tesla owners from treating it as such.
One of the perks of self-driving cars is that, well, it drives itself. This means that in theory, you could be doing something else while the car is being driven. However, this is often not advised because there could be situations where it might need human intervention and if you’re distracted, then it could lead to disastrous consequences.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, companies who have had plans for 2020 to launch new products or services have no doubt had to put them on the backburner. For example, we’ve seen how several major events being cancelled, and there are also rumors that products like the iPhone could be delayed.
A couple of years ago, there was a Tesla that was involved in a fatal crash. Now according to the NTSB, it seems that they are laying some of the blame on Apple for the crash. While the governing body did lay most of the blame on Tesla, it seems that they believe that Apple should shoulder some of the responsibility.
Cars these days are getting smarter where they come with a variety of sensors and cameras on board that can warn drivers of obstacles. All of this seems to be paving the way towards a future of self-driving cars, but it seems that there still needs to be some work done on them, especially when they can be tricked with a simple two-inch piece of tape.
As a delivery and logistics company, UPS has been rather aggressive in finding new high-tech ways of staying ahead of the competition. The company has explored the possibility of using drones to help make deliveries, and now it seems that they are looking at the possibility of self-driving delivery vans.
Right now when it comes to self-driving vehicles, one of the general rules that many follow around the world is that there needs to be a human behind the “wheel”. This is because in the event that something goes wrong, the human can take over and steer the car away or apply the brakes to prevent accidents.
While it might be a while before we start seeing self-driving cars hit the roads and become more common, the self-driving revolution has already started with shuttle buses. In fact, over in Doha, Qatar, Volkswagen has announced that they will be working with the Qatar Investment Authority on a project known as “Project Qatar Mobility”.
When we drive, we use our eyes to see what’s around us and that lets us know when to brake, when to move forwards, when to turn, and so on. However, since computers don’t have “eyes”, at least not in the traditional sense, they need to use cameras, but even then, cameras need to be taught to know what they’re looking at.
The problem with delivering goods cross-country by trucks is that humans are involved. Humans get tired and thus need to make stops and rest. Being pressured to meet certain deadlines also does not help as it means that drivers could get careless, which in turn could result in accidents, none of which are ideal.
Grocery deliveries have always been around, but these days a number of companies have been working on take it to the next level. For example, Walmart has recently announced that they will start testing self-driving vehicles to help deliver groceries through a partnership with a company called Nuro.