All those who think driving sucks, here’s some good news – the future is driver-less. So you can just sit back, relax and let the computer do the driving. And there can’t be a stronger case for this than what happened in Netherlands a couple of days ago.
— Hans Noordsij (@HansNoordsij) 27 December 2016
Out on the highway, the ‘Autopilot’ system as Tesla calls it, applied brakes on its own, even before the driver could react. Look at the footage and ‘you’ don’t really realise there’s anything wrong, even though the system sounds the alarm for an impending disaster. And the very next second the car ahead rams the SUV which flips a couple of times before coming to a rest. It was like car could predict the future!
As shocking and unbelievable as it sounds, this is what cars of the future will be like. Tesla has been touting the ‘Autopilot’ as a life saving feature and is a precursor to fully autonomous cars that are just a few years away. While Volvo has has ‘City Safety’ self braking system on its cars, it’s limited to speeds below 30 kph. We’ve experienced this and it is uncanny how the car stops even before we can lift our foot to apply the brakes. There’s also adaptive cruise control on some cars that slows down when it detects traffic ahead.
Tesla’s ‘Autopliot’ goes a step ahead and combines these together. Radar and cameras mounted on the car read the road conditions and traffic ahead to speed up or slow down. A computerised system is quicker than a human any day and therefore safer.
Hopefully more cars will have features like this as standard. Not only will this reduce the number of accidents on our roads, but also save lives.