Instructor: Aleksi Aaltonen, Section 002

The future of Automobiles

According to recent reports, we could soon see fully self-driving on U.S. roads. The Trump administration has been saying that it is considering allowing real-world testing for thousands of fully self-driving cars to allow for companies to start gathering more accurate real-world data for when the real push for self-driving cars occurs. Cars used in the program are said to need technology that monitors speed and sensor functionality as well as the ability to fully disable the car if it needed according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA is also working on figuring out if it wants to make data available to the public that could contain sensitive information such as near misses. The Trump administration is also looking to revise safety rules to allow different types of cars to be allowed so automakers can design cars that don’t have pieces like a steering wheel or mirrors as the cars will be handling everything.

If this program goes through, it will open up a huge job market for people looking to work as a technical employee. With relatively low amounts of data and experience, this field would surely be an interesting one to get into especially as someone coming out of college. While there are still barriers in place including the senate as well as local and state government approval, the future is bright for self-driving cars.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-selfdriving/self-driving-cars-may-hit-u-s-roads-in-pilot-program-nhtsa-idUSKCN1MJ2J6

5 Responses to The future of Automobiles

  • How do you think self-driving cars will disrupt industries? I think there are several ways how they could impact different industries beyond car manufacturing.

  • Not only is self-driving cars are a huge market in the future, it has the potential to change the future for supply-chain management and delivery service. Currently, in Los Angelas Domino pizza chain restaurants are currently selectively choosing few stores that implement this service. In a macroeconomic point of view, if a corporation can adopt this technology, it provides the company a 24-7 delivery service without concerning about the drivers’ fatigue level and sufficiently decreasing overall delivery expenses. However, the technology has the risk of a safety concern as you stated.

    • Good point Chung-Han!

      Also, if you think about what do the current cars do most of the time? Take space without producing any service! There are studies that on average a car is used 1 hour during a day, meaning 23 hours it is just wasting space while its owner is doing something else than driving. This is a huge waste of resources. If a self-driving car could be in use 24/7, we would, in principle, need a fraction of the current cars to provide the same mobility.

      I am aware that car more than just means of transportation to many, but just as a thought experiment the above can be quite eye-opening vision.

  • Self-driving cars is definitely the way of the future; however, the amount of disruption they bring to the market can be catastrophic. It will be interesting to see how insurance will be affected by self-driving cars. Furthermore, would insurance go through the individual or the car manufacturer/software company? Either way, I look forward to napping and driving.

  • I believe it is inevitable until a majority of cars on the road are self-driven. Non-AI computers tend to operate at light speed if a CPU-driven vehicles has the appropriate sensors, it will very likely react faster that inputs from a human. This will directly translate to the car being a better driver which means you will be more safe. My first through is that I think I would feel safer when I am in control of the car instead of a computer. I feel like there is a limit to being dependent on technology and I believe that self-driving cars crosses that line.

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