Google has finally rolled out the final plan to take its self-driving cars for a spin on Ontario’s roads.
After at least a decade of tinkering in their labs and workshops, Google’s team of automotive researchers and engineers has finally decided to test its gizmo car in Canada. This project has already been extensively tested in the US for over a million miles and now the test is being conducted outside of US, for the first time.
Why Self-Driving Cars?
Once the idea catches up into the mainstream car manufacturing, these futuristic cars can make a big difference in our lives – for the better. Imagine not having to worry about parking your car because after reaching your destination, you can send it off to someone else or just to rest at home and come back to pick you up when you’re ready to leave!
According to Transport Canada, the average motor vehicle fatalities exceeds 1900 a year. After the introduction of self-driving cars, this figure is bound to go down because more than 90% of the road accidents are caused by human error. So in addition to the convenience, these cars can also make our roads much safer than they currently are.
How Do Self-Driving Cars ‘See’?
While a number of big shot car manufacturers are working on this idea, Google looks ahead of the game right now. Google’s self-driving car uses a combination of radars, GPS, 3-D laser mapping and a super smart software to navigate its way on the road. Through its laser-mapping capabilities, this car can also see through objects and take preventive action even before the object becomes visible to the human eye! To top it all off, Google’s self-driving cars can share their experiences with each other so that if one errs, the others learn from that experience.
What does the future hold?
Since this idea is quite mainstream now, big players like Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Volvo are working hard to make this concept a full fledge practical reality. With this trend growing, it is no surprise that the other car manufacturers will follow suit – sooner or later. According to the Business Insider, there will be more than 10 million autonomous cars on the roads in the next 5 years. With this outlook, we are sure to see many more brands of smart cars on the roads and we might be owning one before we even know – who knows!
Is it dangerous?
Debates are opening up discussing the safety of self-driving cars especially in emergency situations and people are voicing their concerns on the issue. Statistically, the accident ratio so far is quite on the lower side – 1,372,111 miles and 11 accidents with no fatalities. Even though the critics have some solid arguments this much is guaranteed that the self-driving cars won’t drive while drunk, nod off on the wheel or use the cellphone while it’s driving. So we should stay optimistic and let this technology go through its learning curve and see it mature with the passage of time.
So, next time you are driving in Ontario and you see a cautiously driven car – don’t honk at it because chances are that it is a self-driven car being tested on Ontario’s roads.