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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is what drives automated vehicles. Autonomous cars, in particular, are the future of transportation and need to adopt human-like reasoning when it comes to navigation. They need to constantly be absorbing information such as road condition and live traffic updates in order to ensure they can provide safe and efficient journeys for their passengers. In today’s digital world, AI is utilised heavily for accurate road navigation as well as vehicle operation
Currently, there’s a lot of posturing amongst the major car manufacturers, as they jockey for position in the autonomous vehicle chase, with most of them predicting that there will be some form of self-driving vehicle on the roads by the early to mid-2020s – most likely as ride-hailing services (think Uber and Lyft) or commercial transportation (set routes, set times). Similarly, other industry voices chorus that autonomous vehicles are “coming soon,” with everyday people now becoming more accustomed to the idea, too.
Notwithstanding the optimism, and before we all climb into robotically chauffeured cars or have our online goods delivered by people-less vans and trucks, there are still many hurdles to be overcome – not only from a technological, but also from a business, regulatory and ‘user’ point of view. Trial and error, never-ending learning, infinite software updates and our new-old friend ‘artificial intelligence’ are paving the road that autonomous vehicles will cruise on.
Quite rightly, people are both excited by and fearful of the prospect of truly autonomous transportation. Positive thoughts relate to the elimination of human error (an autonomous vehicle is unlikely to be pulled over for reckless or drunk driving, accidents due to drowsiness or heart attacks…). But the thought of technology literally with a ‘mind of its own’ driving on our open roads and neighbourhood streets, is also a scary idea.