Right now companies all across the globe are pushing hard to make cars that drive themselves a reality. Driverless automobiles have been a fascination for engineers, city planners and the millions of people who have to endure a long commute to work for some time.
Currently cars do exist that perform some driving tasks and maneuvers on their own like parking, braking in certain circumstances, and adaptive cruise control to name a few. However a total, hands-free driving experience, is down the road apiece.
The discussion about self-driving cars is just getting started and will likely continue for years to come. To help make sure you are able to talk the talk when the conversation begins we have provided some of the more frequently used terms and features:
Autonomous Vehicle – This refers to a car that has the capability to sense it surroundings and negotiate from one point to another without the help or input from a human driver.
Semi-autonomous Vehicle – A vehicle that has limited capabilities such as being able to steer, accelerate, brake, stop, change lanes, and park itself. This car will not be able to make all driving decisions and will require a driver to monitor the activities, and be on stand-by in case of potential missteps and crisis situations.
AI-Artificial Intelligence – This term refers to machines that have been designed to make decisions independent from humans. The $60,000 Question regarding AI is can a machine learn to become self- aware?
Forward Collision Warning – A number of sensors are placed on a car including lasers, radar, and cameras that gauge the possibility of coming into contact with a vehicle or object ahead. If a collision is imminent then the driver is alerted to monitor the situation and take evasive action if necessary.
Auto Emergency Braking – Lasers, radar, and cameras asses the possibility of coming into contact with an object in front of the vehicle. If a collision is likely and the driver doesn’t respond appropriately the system slams on the brakes. This feature will save many a motorist from another inattentive driver.
Lane-Keeping Assist – A lane keeping assist uses a combination of sensors to monitor a driver’s position in the lane. If the car senses a deviation in the position it will induce mild steering input to keep the vehicle in the appropriate lane. This particular feature works best on straight roads and can become overly intrusive on curvy-two lanes. The latest versions allow for hands-off moments.
Adaptive Cruise Control – This feature allows a car to automatically adjust its speed in relation to the speed of the vehicle ahead of you. This leaves the driver with only one job and that is to steer the vehicle.
Knowing a little more about the terms and their meanings will help you express your opinion on self-driving cars. It’s a new technology that will definitely be with us in one form or another for a long time to come.