Joel Johnson

Pros & Cons Of Self-Driving Driverless Cars

Self driving cars

Driverless cars are the new talk of the town.

Major giants inside the automobile industry have already show cased few of their self-driving car technology and many car companies aim to roll out production vehicles with driverless capabilities by 2020. In just a few years, industry experts expect fully autonomous vehicles to follow the trend.

Advantages of Driverless Cars

  • Without the need for a driver, cars could become mini-leisure rooms. There would be more space and no need for everyone to face forwards. Entertainment technology, such as video screens, could be used to lighten long journeys without the concern of distracting the driver.
  • Over 80% of car crashes in the USA are caused by driver error. There would be no bad drivers and less mistakes on the roads, if all vehicles became driverless. Drunk and drugged drivers would also be a thing of the past.
  • Travelers would be able to journey overnight and sleep for the duration.
  • Traffic could be coordinated more easily in urban areas to prevent long tailbacks at busy times. Commute times could be reduced drastically.
  • Reduced or non-existent fatigue from driving, plus arguments over directions and navigation would be a thing of the past.
  • Sensory technology could potentially perceive the environment better than human senses, seeing farther ahead, better in poor visibility, detecting smaller and more subtle obstacles, more reasons for less traffic accidents.
  • Speed limits could be increased to reflect the safer driving, shortening journey times.
  • Parking the vehicle and difficult maneuvering would be less stressful and require no special skills. The car could even just drop you off and then go and park itself.
  • People who historically have difficulties with driving, such as disabled people and older citizens, as well as the very young, would be able to experience the freedom of car travel. There would be no need for drivers’ licenses or driving tests.
  • Autonomous vehicles could bring about a massive reduction in insurance premiums for car owners.
  • Efficient travel also means fuel savings, cutting costs.
  • Reduced need for safety gaps means that road capacities for vehicles would be significantly increased.
  • Passengers should experience a smoother riding experience.
  • Self-aware cars would lead to a reduction in car theft.

Pros & Cons Of Self Driving Driverless Cars

Disadvantages of Driverless Cars

  • Driverless cars would likely be out of the price range of most ordinary people when generally introduced, likely costing over $100,000.
  • Truck drivers and taxi drivers will lose their jobs, as autonomous vehicles take over.
  • A computer malfunction, even just a minor glitch, could cause worse crashes than anything that human error might bring about.
  • If the car crashes, without a driver, who’s fault is it: Google/the software designer, or the owner of the vehicle?
  • The cars would rely on the collection of location and user information, creating major privacy concerns.
  • Hackers getting into the vehicle’s software and controlling or affecting its operation would be a major security worry.
  • There are problems currently with autonomous vehicles operating in certain types of weather. Heavy rain interferes with roof-mounted laser sensors, and snow can interfere with its cameras.
  • Reading human road signs is challenging for a robot.
  • As drivers become more and more used to not driving, their proficiency and experience will diminish. Should they then need to drive under certain circumstances, there may be problems.
  • The road system and infrastructure would likely need major upgrades for driverless vehicles to operate on them. Traffic and street lights, for instance, would likely all need altering.
  • Self-driving cars would be great news for terrorists, as they could be loaded with explosives and used as moving bombs.
  • Ethical problems could arise which a machine might struggle to deal with. Faced with a choice between plowing into a group of schoolchildren or going off a bridge and killing all its passengers, what does the vehicle do? Should the vehicle always swerve to avoid animals in the road or always prioritize the safety and comfort of passengers?
  • Human behavior such as hand signals are difficult for a computer to understand.
  • How would the police interact with driverless vehicles, especially in the case of accidents or crimes?
Feel free to add on more such advantages and disadvantages in the comments section!
Happy Safe Driving!

Will Automated Public Transportation Too, Become A Reality?

Automated Transportation

As population is on the rising scale, there is a massive increase in the number of vehicles on the road and hence an
improvement in the problems associated with traffic management is required. More significantly, the Public Transport is the function that needs to be upgraded soon due to the increase in the number of accidents and various other traffic related issues.

Intelligent Public Transportation Management System (IPTMS) provides the solution to most of these problems by integrating existing technologies with the underlying infrastructure. An efficient vehicle tracking system is designed and developed for tracking the movement of any equipped vehicle from any location at any time. Real time vehicle
tracking for efficient transport management has become feasible with the advent of mobile technology and the
omnipresence cellular network. With thus, one need not wait for so long for any on road vehicle. The ubiquity of
Smart Phones and their ever increasing power at a very economical price makes them one of the most attractive
options for developing IOT applications.

Will Automated public transportation become a reality?

Automated Metros, Trains & Buses

According to a recent report published by the International Association of Public Transport, there were 53 fully automated metro lines in 36 cities across the world. Of the current 786km of these automated lines, half sit in four countries: France, South Korea, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. It is predicted that by 2023, there will be 2,200km of automated metro lines.

There are varying degrees of metro automation. Some systems are capable of running station to station without any control from the driver, who functions only to detect obstacles and open and close the doors. The highest level of automation, a truly driverless metro vehicle, is already functioning in Copenhagen and Barcelona.

Paris finished the conversion of Metro Ligne 1 to operate using driverless trains in December 2012 after years of planning, construction and negotiation with unions. The conversion was done without major interruption to passengers and its success led to the automation of several other lines in the system.

The conversion of the line to an automated metro system has allowed additional passengers to be carried at peak times and enabled trains to run every 85 seconds. Sceptics have said this is partly to do with the wide, well lit, proximity of Paris’s metro stations, as well as the abundance of security staff on the platforms –which would make it difficult to replicate in other metropolitan areas.

For an automated metro system to be safe, the platform-track interface is an important factor. One solution for this is to add platform door screens to prevent any individual from having contact with the track, similar to those that exist in Paris today. Another less popular option is a track-intruder detection system but, as a whole, limiting access to the track altogether is seen as a more viable solution.

The most popular signalling system used is communications-based metro control, which means the exact positioning of the train is monitored and regulated at all times. This information is used to increase efficiency and capacity by safely reducing the headway between trains on the same line.

The train’s location is determined using track and on-board data that is wirelessly transmitted to a central control facility, which manages all trains in the system. Central control means that service can be adjusted quickly to respond to delays or accommodate crowds and allows for better real time information.

The conversion from a conventional metro system to an automated one is a complex project that may require carefully considered timing and signalling upgrades, fleet modification and retrofitting of track-protection systems. Despite this, the benefits of automated metro trains have been seen in the safety, reliability and flexibility they offer passengers, so it is expected that the current exponential growth phase will continue.

Public transport is a service available on sharing basis for the welfare of the general public. It includes
city buses, trolley-buses and rapid transit like metro and subways. Unlike transportation modes like car-pooling,
rickshaws and taxis, this system encompasses an entirety of strangers. The main reasons as to why people
choose public transportation over other modes of transport are its subsidized rates, environment-friendly
attributes and easy accessibility.

Firstly, public transport is very economical allowing a large population to have access to it. Using a bus or a train to drive is comparatively cheaper than using a private car. If people have their own car, they have to spend a lot of money on car servicing, repairs, and insurance. There are many discounts available for some individuals, like students and senior citizens who choose public transport as their transportation option to get to work or go to school.

Secondly, public transport can preserve the environment by reducing the amount of pollution. With an increase in the use of public transportation, there will be a reasonable dip in the number of private vehicles on the road, therefore, improving the environment and in addition, solving the traffic congestion issues.

Furthermore, public transportation has good accessibility in big cities, making it easier to travel to any part of the city, making buses a favorable option to opt for. It provides personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life.

Taking into consideration the other aspects of public transportation, there are some downsides to this
service as well. Public transportation by its very nature, is far more time consuming than any other mode of
transportation. Most trains and buses run in accordance with a scheduled timetable. However, these time
schedules are seldom followed. There is always an uncertainty regarding the arrival of a bus. Often, buses break
down causing further problem to drivers.

Another difficulty we see is that public transportation often lacks organization. Drivers are often confused with regards to bus routes and bus stops. Even if the buses are running on time, they are usually crowded, the reason being, less frequency of the buses. Since the ratio of the buses to the population availing public transportation is disproportionate, overcrowded buses are not a rare sight.

With regard to all problems mentioned above, the simple knowledge of bus related information can solve a number of discrepancies related to public transportation. For instance, the time of arrival and departure of each bus, a comprehensive list of bus-stops, etc. can prove to be very constructive. Hence, an Intelligent Public Transport Management system is necessary to solve these issues. In order to provide necessary bus data to all passengers, this paper proposes a Smart Public Transport System where all relevant information of the bus will be gathered, processed, and presented to the user. This system includes introducing an hardware device inside the bus for indicating the approaching bus terminals and the remaining bus route.

Moreover, the system helps in nullifying the long waiting hours at bus stops. Along with the uncertainty in time, there is also an apprehension regarding the capacity of a bus. Even if the passenger is aware about the arrival time of the bus, Design and Development of Automated Public Transportation System and Traffic Guidance System
they do not know how many additional people can be accommodated inside the bus. The information will be
half-baked and hence of no use. Thus, determining capacity of any given bus is equally important to the arrival
time estimation. Therefore, by using high-end technologies, like Android and NFC code facility, and integrating
them with the existing system, we can provide a good solution to the issues discussed. To summarize, the system will eradicate the uncertainty in arrival time that drivers face every day and prove to be of great assistance in planning their journeys well in advance.

Mercedes Benz has also developed an autonomous bus, the Future Bus with CityPilot. This technology can respond to traffic lights and pedestrians, as well as approach bus stops automatically. The bus will autonomously brake when it senses it is necessary, using a software platform for autonomous driving in traffic. The first journey was made on a 20km route between Amsterdam’s Schipol airport and Haarlem.

A successful automated public transport system requires integrating all components for a smooth journey for passengers, via trains, trams, buses and last mile or shuttle buses. Driverless services on existing roads would require not only regulatory change, but also changes in perception by members of the public.

With the number of similar projects increasing, this change could happen sooner than we think. The straddling bus, however, is a long way off.

7 Things You Need To Know About Self-Driving / Driver-Less Cars

Driver less cars

Traffic woes are not something new to anyone who has ever commuted via. roads. Needless to say, after a long day at work you don’t want to be bothered by these listless honking and other hassles. A safe free ride without any tension is what we all desire. Well the concept of Self Driving / Driver Less Cars are not something new, but in this post we take a look at a couple of things that would be handy if you’re looking to maximize the autonomous capabilities of your next car.

Make sure it has some or all of the features on our list 🙂

1. Cruise Control

Perhaps one of the most common feature on our list. Adaptive cruise control is not something new to most of us. It has been available on some vehicles, in varying forms – for over a decade. Improving upon the first autonomous driving feature ever (cruise control), adaptive cruise control can adjust your vehicle’s speed based on the speed of cars on the road in front you. In many cases, it can even set and maintain a desired following distance. And while some adaptive cruise control systems require vehicles to be traveling at a certain speed before they’ll kick in, the best systems can bring a car to a complete stop and get it started again once traffic in front begins moving.

2. Automatic Collision Braking

Automatic forward-collision braking is perhaps the most rapidly happening feature on our list. While it was considered as an unusual feature until a few years back, it’s now offered in an enormous range of cars, including some compact and subcompact models with highly affordable price tags. So, how does it work? Although the braking systems vary from automaker to automaker, the most advanced collision systems detect an explicit frontal collision, alert the driver to a possible accident ahead and quickly apply the brakes in order to ensure the car stops in time. Don’t be fooled by forward-collision “warning” systems: Drivers who want the most autonomous technology possible will want a system that automatically applies the brakes.

3. Automatic Parking

Automatic parking is the latest exciting self-driving feature to find its way into a wide range of vehicles. Like other technologies on this list, the actual workings of automatic parking systems vary from model to model and automaker to automaker, but the general gist is that these systems can decide whether a vehicle is large enough to fit in a certain parking spot and then automatically steer the car into the spot. While some versions only control the steering and require drivers to work the brake and gas pedals, other systems do it all for you — and some even work in perpendicular parking spots, in addition to parallel ones.

4. Autopilot

Tesla’s Autopilot system is possibly the most advanced autonomous system on the market today. While many automakers are focusing on making sure vehicles remain in their lanes, avoid collisions or slow down and speed up based on traffic. Tesla has put together every piece of the puzzle in the best and most useful way possible. The result is near-full autonomous driving — though the system won’t work in some conditions, and Tesla reminds drivers to always keep their hands on the wheel. Still, Tesla’s Autopilot system is as close to autonomous driving as you’re going to get for the time being.

5. Lane-Keep Assist

More and more automakers are rolling out lane-keep assist, a new feature that builds on lane-departure warning systems in older models. While lane-departure warning would sound an alert or flash a light to let you know you’re drifting from your lane (if you’re distracted, for example), lane-keep assist will automatically steer you back into your lane should you start to drift out. While there are a few limitations to lane-keep assist systems — they won’t work if lane lines aren’t easily visible, for example — the technology is an excellent example of increasing autonomous technology in modern vehicles.

6.Sign Recognition

Quiet a fascinating tech isn’t it? Now if you ever wondered what this feature was even, then here’s something for you Road-sign recognition is a tool that automatically views signs on the side of the road and relays that information to the driver. If you have ever wondered what the speed limit is as you drive down the road, fret no more! A car with a good sign-recognition tool will automatically capture the speed limit and display it for you, so you never have to wonder again.

7. Steering Assist

Several high-end luxury cars — like the BMW 7 Series, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Volvo S90 — offer full steering-assist systems in addition to more common autonomous technologies like lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control. While steering-assist systems from these more traditional luxury brands aren’t as comprehensive as Tesla’s Autopilot system, and they usually only last a few seconds or a minute before handing control back to the driver, the idea is similar: The car uses all of its sensors and cameras to steer for itself for a certain period of time. While this feature is currently only offered on top-level luxury cars, we suspect it’ll trickle down to lesser models in the next few years.

Although there are major concerns in the market with the susceptibility of these models and systems, the trend is soon catching up and more or less within a decade we will witness one of the most unique and efficient systems the automobile industry has ever seen. Hope we broadened your knowledge on Self Drive / Driver less Cars.

Do post your comments and views in the section below. Also shoot us your queries for further details!

Happy Driver Less Driving!