California! This is the Future of Driving

By: Williams Orchard

The Jetsons lived in 2062. A futuristic dreamland of quirky inventions, holograms and robots! And, still poor George had to perform the mundane task of driving his own car. But, you and I have the benefit of sleeping, reading, working or simply day-dreaming while driving a car. This is no April fool’s joke. Apparently, Google is working on driverless car. And, guess the state in which the testing is going on. Your very own state of California!

Google believes that driverless cars can drive more safely and reduce accidents. The internet giant says that its fleet of no-human-driver cars is mastering the streets of California and it could be available to public in 2017.

The company has declared that its cars have become skilled at dealing with motorway driving. But, city driving will still take at least 3 years because of impediments like pedestrians, cyclists and blind corners.

Google uses sensors, radars and laser to develop 3D maps for the car in real-time. The company’s software helps in categorizing the near-by objects into 4 groups -moving vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and static objects (signs, banners, curbs and parked cars). Initially, the technology was rather simple and it could recognise a group of street-walkers as a single person. However, today, it can distinguish between them successfully.Also, the company is working on dealing with cyclists. Google engineers have taught the software to predict cyclist behavior on the basis of encounters during the 10,000 mile test-drives on the California city streets. They still need to work on things like understanding gestures of other drivers.

Don’t think Google is the only entity in the driverless car market.

Volvo has initiated its “Drive Me” project. Under the plan, the company has begun testing 100 self-driving cars on the streets of Sweden.

Daimler AG expects that they will be able to provide autonomous vehicles by 2025.

Nissan Motor Co. declares it will be ready with a self-driving car by 2020.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Audi are occupied in the same pursuit.

California DMV is in the process of formulating rules for driverless cars in the Golden State. States like Nevada, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C. are also creating regulations for the same.

The future seems interesting! Doesn’t it?

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