The automotive industry has been promoting self-driving cars as a kind of panacea that will solve numerous problems that modern society is grappling with right now, from congestion to safety to productivity (you can work while riding!).
Unfortunately, a very big question that has been almost entirely overlooked is: how long will these cars last?
The answer might surprise you. In an interview with The Telegraph in London, John Rich, who is the operations chief of Ford Autonomous Vehicles, reveals that the “thing that worries me least in this world is decreasing demand for cars,” because “we will exhaust and crush a car every four years in this business.”
Self-driving cars are a shared ambition among Google, Tesla, Apple, Uber and Lyft, among other automotive, tech and ridesharing companies. For Uber and Lyft specifically, it’s a matter of cutting costs. However, fiscal expediency is not the main benefit of this emerging technology. Roughly 94 percent of traffic accidents are caused by human error, and to many, autonomous vehicles (AVs) seem to be our only path toward lessening related fatalities. In addition, driverless cars have other benefits, such as lower fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions and a reduction in congestion. Here are the main ways they stand to change our lives and carve out a lane in the consumer marketplace, as well as the challenges this fledgling sector will need to overcome.
Toyota is deepening its relationship with Nvidia as the automaker, and its research arms in Japan and the U.S., ramps up its autonomous vehicle development program.
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced Monday during his keynote at the 2019 GPU Technology Conference that Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development — the automaker’s Japan-based research arm — is using the chipmaker’s full end-to-end development and production to develop, train and validate its autonomous vehicle technology. The partnership builds on an ongoing collaboration with Toyota and is based on development between engineering teams from Nvidia, TRI-AD in Japan and Toyota Research Institute in the United States.
The question of how self-driving cars will interact and communicate with humans is one that has come up before, but the answer is still up in the air. Google has been looking into this at least since 2012, and earlier this year, Uber filed a patent for using flashing lights and sounds to talk to pedestrians. Now, the United States Patent Office has granted Lyft with a patent for what it describes as an autonomous vehicle notification system.
Lyft’s solution entails developing a predetermined message to display on the most visible car window. In one example, each window includes a projector, a see-through screen or another display device to communicate the message.
Looks like Google is moving on with its self-driving automobile concept. A recent report has suggested that the Mountain View company has finally decided to make its self-driving cars by itself.
You might remember recent rumors that suggested that the tech giant was in talks with many major automakers regarding the possibilities of self-driving cars. But Google failed in this attempt, as almost every carmaker rejected the idea.