Renault-Nissan to launch Share Driver-less cars

With every company making its mark in launching the driver-less cars in a perfect manner, Renault with its alliance Nissan have stepped one block ahead. They know by analyzing the market that business is going great for the shared car services, recently. In fact, according to reports by Goldman Sachs, the percentage of people using share rides is going to increase 8 times till the year 2030 from its current size.

So, Nissan wouldn’t want to miss even a single chance when other companies are making their mark in the market by launching driver-less cars. They know doing the market analysis that it is not about staying in business for only buying and selling car, that’s why Nissan has stepped ahead and has prepared for launching themselves into providing car riding services also. The Japanese and French people in the company are constantly working on the concept on which service providers like Uber and Lyft work. They want people to plan their journey and make a booking via their services. This will be a big change in the market scenario for Nissan as it is taking a huge step forward.

As per their Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services Division’s head Mr. Redzic, the alliance would begin to take the driver-less cars on road based on their own concept of electric cars soon but not before the year 2020. For making this big and giving a boost start they have shook hands with some small groups of auto makers. Though, the competition is not falling anywhere as BMW AG is also all set to launch the same concept and Uber likely to have these services, already, is preparing for driver-less cars by acquiring Otto.

Redzic was also worried about the launch as the laws still don’t allow driver-less cars to ride on roads. This may portray various issues for the companies laying down their hands with the concept. The guidelines need to change, laws need to be remade in order to allow driver-less cars to take rides on the street.

With the upcoming concept, it is still not very much clear that how is this going to work or make a mark in the long run. How will the cars know when to stop and take up a ride or dive themselves through traffic! But it will be interesting to see the vision various automobile companies are carrying. This surely ensures a big change in the way cars are going to be in near future!

When will Driver-less cars become a reality? Know All about them!

Autonomous cars

Driver-less cars means cars driven without a driver. The reality check has been done by various automobile companies and by 2018 we can see driver-less cars on road but fully autonomous cars will still be a vision to watch in next 10 years.

Cars without brake pedals, gas or void of any controls is also going to happen but will take a major amount of time. To understand about driver-less cars in deep, we have sorted it for you here:

So, automated driving has levels to be explained set by Society of Automotive Engineers(SAE). Let’s take a walk through all the levels:

  1. SAE Level 0: This in fact is not at all considered under the factor of self driving. You as a human have all the controls of the car. You are the one handling the steering wheel, the brakes and the clutch. The car doesn’t drive or move by itself. The car can only provide you with some warnings by the system like blind spot detection, lane-departure or forward collision warning. So, we can term it as “No Self Driving” level.
  2. SAE Level 1: A little involvement by the system is what level 1 includes. This is a combination of human efforts and system recognition. The system accesses accelerator and steering of the car but not simultaneously. The factors that are handled are adaptive cruise control, keeping the lane or centering the lane assistance, automatic brake for emergency vehicles and anti-lock braking systems. Though all the other dynamic controls have to be handled by human only, few aspects are handled by the system. We can term this as “Limited Assistance”.
  3. SAE Level 2: More than level 1 is what we have access to when we come to level 2. This is probably the level that most of the cars have currently including BMW, Tesla and Mercedes-Benz. With this, the car takes control of the steering and brakes together. It assists to change the lane or to center the car in the lane. Lane-keep assist helps the car to come back to the lane when you drift from the lane accidentally or not. At highways, the car will continue to move on its own for seconds or few minutes until your hand is lightly on the steering wheel. No hard access to steering otherwise that may turn up the wheels.
    These factors influence the working of a car on the road, you can refrain yourself from the trouble of not looking at your cellphone while driving or doing any other activity while in the car. Everything is taken care by the system.
    But what is not taken care is other cars changing lanes or coming to your lane or merging from some other lane. The car will not prompt and if adaptive cruise brake is focusing on a car meters ahead of it then probably it won’t focus to closer car and thus fail in making decision.
    The car will also be not able to take sharp turns on mountains or hills and even hard braking. The car won’t be able to apply hard brakes by itself. If summarized, human existence and assistance is still required. So, can’t be termed as completely autonomous.
  4. SAE Level 3: This level can be termed as the beginning of autonomous driving because there are still few conditions involved. This can handle various situations like taking sharp turns or drive on local roads. But a situation arises where the car can no more handle the traffic scenario or any other difficulty then it would need a human to take over within a span of 15 seconds or whatever is recorded.
    This level is kind of very useless and therefore major companies like Tesla and Ford have thought of skipping this level.
  5. SAE Level 4: Terming it as “Almost Autonomous”, level 4 does everything by itself without any human help. It can handle situations when it senses a car coming by slowing down, if the car breaks down it can call for help with telematics.
    If this can do everything why do we need level 5? Well, it is difficult on level 4 for the car to venture out on unmapped areas or drive when the vision for cameras and LIDAR is blocked. Though human can take over the control to dive into unmapped areas but this should be already planned.
  6. SAE Level 5: Everything that a human does, will be expected out of a car if it is on level 5! This means diving through storms, snow, taking steep turns or even driving on roads with worn-out pavement marking, everything will be made possible by a fully autonomous car. No human assistance will be needed in such cars, and probably there will be no driver seat !

When is each company going to launch?

With so many automobile companies taking interest in the autonomous car making, the first ones to launch by 2018, will be Tesla, Audi and GM. According to GM’s CEO Mary Barra “The company expect[s] to be the first high-volume [read: other than Tesla] auto manufacturer to build fully autonomous vehicles.”

As per Elon Musk, Tesla’s autonomous car will be on roads and can drive from LA to New York by 2018.

According to Audi’s CEO, Audi A8 Sedan Level-3 equipped will be on roads by 2018 and expects to launch the fully autonomous version of it by the year 2020.

In fact, as per Ford’s CEO they are not even planning to launch level-3 car but will jump to level-4 and come with their autonomous car by 2021. Toyota, Google all plan to launch by 2020. Renault-Nissan will join the league by 2025. BMW in collaboration with Intel is eyeing on the launch by 2021.

What are the issues that are faced?

Issues have a never ending list, as this is going to change the era of driving cars! Not an easy pill to digest by the people and so it would surely take time to adapt and run according to plans. The prime factor that will be a roadblock is managing with the traffic rules and thus it will be required to make special laws for autonomous cars. Everyone expects a single line of similar rules to be worked in the whole US.

Insurance planning will be another hurdle. It will be difficult to manage the price for insurance and also who will be held responsible in case any accident happens.

The cars may cost higher bucks than the normal ones as it is well equipped with all facilities and tools. Cutting down car cost will be a major issue faced by the automobile companies.

Though there are people who will be benefited too. Driving through heavy traffic roads, you can enjoy your own leisure time, no worries about accidents or injuries, long rides can be enjoyed with ease, drink and drive won’t be an issue anymore, people with disabilities will have an upper hand and so many other riding issues are tackled down. It won’t be an impossible dream to catch anymore. There will be instances when we will thank technology! And may be instances when we will feel sorry for it but either way humans are in benefit!

With more such factors, We really look forward to driver-less cars making their way in the near future.

Disruption in Hotel and Airline Businesses due to Autonomous Cars?

Driver-less cars

Our travel plans are well organized before hand and for the ease of our transfer from one source to another destination we have the facility to fly via flights and reach quickly and easily. But is it really that time effective?

Suppose, traveling from my place to my client location takes 1 hour via flight and 8 hours via car. That 1 hour via flight is not exactly 1 hour, it contributes to 1 hour of reaching to the airport, 1 hour of security check ins, 1 hour of waiting and then 1 hour of journey contributing almost 4 hours. Wouldn’t it be easy with autonomous cars, to drive down to the destination with no pain of driving, hassle free journey and a comfortable ride?

Yes! and that is actually going to be a reality which can surely pose a major danger on the domestic flight business and rental hotel businesses. Autonomous cars are planned to be equipped with comfortable passenger seats almost like sofas, where passengers can relax and do their work or simply watch movies while traveling. The same 4 hours of flight journey can be cut down to night travel and reach to the destination for your next meeting in the morning! Business class travelers who will be regular flyers can take up the option of traveling in autonomous cars, relaxing in the car and enjoying their feast.

This also cuts out the possibility of waiting in a motel or taking a room to just grab on your early morning flight. Though some people will still prefer traveling for an hour and getting those extra hours chopped off. So, the domestic flight business is not going to be completely shut down but surely will get affected. Though it is somewhere in near future almost 20 years from now when we can see this happening in a full fledged form.

20 years is a big leap but who knows this can turn the entire travel system!

Ethical Decision making for Driver-less Autonomous cars

Ethical Decision for autonomous vehicles

Who will decide that whether striking a lamp post off its root is not a big deal but to a human being it is? Who will teach an autonomous car the ethical value of life?

With similar questions, the inventors of autonomous cars have been dozed off here and there. Explanations have been asked as to how will a car decide on the spot which decision is good to make while in a dilemma? According to reports, the autonomous cars have been trained ethically to make decisions on road just like a human would do.

According to few researchers from the University of Osnabruck in Germany, teaching a driver-less car to be ethically equipped using algorithms is not a tedious task. How will this work?

During one research plan, people were made to experience virtual reality simulations in intense traffic scenarios. How did humans react while seeing an animal, a person or an inanimate object is how priority was assigned to each. These priorities are then set as values to a machine and therefore autonomous cars can make a human decision while on roads.

But there are situations when even a human is confused as to apply brakes or rather get hurt. Situations like what to do if a dog suddenly comes in front of your vehicle, do you keep moving or you take a sudden turn causing an accident by hurting someone else? Who is responsible for taking such decisions and if something happens whom will we blame?

According to researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology :“The algorithms that control [autonomous vehicles] will need to embed moral principles guiding their decisions in situations of unavoidable harm,” In cases where the car has to make a decision on whether to take a sudden turn and hurt the pedestrians or harm the passengers, then the decision should be don’t harm the pedestrians if that means hurting its own passengers. The law makers have to face the obligations of making laws for such situations.

The cars are well equipped with sensors, LIDAR and cameras to inspect the conditions and thus take a decision. Autonomous cars visualize the road conditions, depend on speed of the object that comes in the way. The cars shouldn’t only be ethically able but also fast enough to calculate the dangerous aspects and apply the results.

This doesn’t end the problem here, but one more aspect comes into picture and that is what if the controls are hacked by some anonymous person. He takes over the board and accesses it for his own good. This may lead to yet another difficulty in maintaining road safety.

What can possibly be done?

This situation is no piece of cake. Whether driven by a human or an electric car, the decision making power can fail at times. The cars can be only equipped with making the most optimized decision without breaking the law and also affecting minimum damage both on ground levels and human life.

If ethically cars are programmed, our risk of getting into complex situations and depending on the car will be minimized big time!! Let’s see what all comes forth as the solution!