Are Driverless Cars A Way Of The Near Future – Or Still Science Fiction

img credit; charles family : flickr

img credit; charles family : flickr

In 2010 Google announced a self-driving car with the goal of achieving safer driving as well as make driving efficient and enjoyable at the same time. With over 200, 000 miles completed safely, we won’t see them on used car dealership lots anytime soon, but it gives the world a promise of autonomous technology in the future one day.

This autonomous vehicle could be the answer to the U.S. Post Office’s every growing budget woes, with the elimination of labor and pension expenses would be eliminated along with the big part of labor expenses. Imagine the amount of fuel that will be saved by the self-driving car simply because individual drivers giving different amounts of gas to make their vehicle go.

The autonomous vehicle will be slower than a driver manned vehicle, as safety is the first concern. This alone is a gas saver as route drivers won’t be pushing on that gas pedal burning fuel. Google has approached the auto companies for interest in licensing and selling this new concept car as well as become a partner for the systems and technology that makes this autonomous car. Insurance companies have been contacted as well. So it is only a matter of time before the applications to sell this vehicle will start pouring in as businesses are always looking for a way to save money, which this fuel efficient vehicle will do just that.

A License to Drive

Nevada gave Google permission to put this new technology in a Prius, made by Toyota and then licensed Google for the first self-driven license. The DMV allowed Google to utilize this driverless technology on the streets of Nevada with the condition that one person must be in the driver seat and one on the passenger side.

Process to Get A License

In addition to being the first state with a driverless car, Nevada made changes to their  laws specifically for these and the public will have the ability to acquire a special license for owning a car like the driverless car. Google went through some arduous routine to acquire their license, such as completing 10,000 miles of private road testing.

What Makes This Autonomous Vehicle Work

There are video cameras on the roof that work with laser technology enabling the vehicle to locate traffic and objects nearby. When you look at accidents, most are due to human error, which is eliminated with the self-driving Toyota Prius that Google placed this technology in. It avoids accidents or things that cause accidents, thus traffic keeps moving at a safe, steady speed.

Is Driving Changed Forever

There haven’t been any plans announced by any automobile manufacturer even the famous Lexus, when this new technology will go mainstream. However, it is certain that this giant step is heading us into that direction and yes, driving will be changed forever sometime in the future. Not that many years ago, this self-driving vehicle would have come straight from a science fiction movie. Today though, they are real and being tested. By the year 2040, who knows? We may have self-driving used Porsche on the market.

Other Manufacturer’s Self-Driving Cars

Audi, Hitachi and Toyota are just a few of the car manufacturers that are looking at driverless cars. Ropits is Hitachi Lexus robot driven car designed for the disabled and elderly. It has a 360 degree view from roof mounted cameras and a system that senses traffic lights 150 yards out. As well, it has an orientation sensor for other cars on the road however; Lexus says there must be an actual driver in the car in case of malfunction.

Google Driverless Cars

Google has been testing their driverless cars on the pubic highways of California and Nevada and have had good results. To establish other car’s location, there are cameras, lasers and radar. With a GPS system and Google maps, navigation is automated for the driverless car. Google cars have the ability to recognize pedestrian location and stop to allow them to cross the street. Because these cars operate from rules that are not human influenced, these self-driving cars will most likely reduce road accidents and fatalities.


One day in the near future every car will have GPS with their signals integrated to make certain that each will have its own GPS coordinates, which will thwart collisions with systems that operate using brakes, motors and prognostic analytical thinking of the position of each car at any given time.

Communication linking driverless cars and the situation about them will facilitate a guess in regards to their direction, position and speed. In the end, such predictions will keep 2 cars in the identical location and period of time as well as another car or any object.