An Autonomous Future

By Nathan Rolls

With constant advances being made in the automotive industry everyday, what was once a simple thought that vehicles can drive themselves, is now becoming a reality. The idea of a fully autonomous car was once something straight out of a science fiction movie, however there are many benefits to autonomous cars. One of these benefits is that they search and scan constantly in all directions (which is something most driver do not do) constantly. However there are some drawbacks and concerns raised amongst drivers of the average car.

One of these is the legal aspect of the autonomy. What happens when the car gets into a crash? What happens when both parties are about to be involved in a crash, and the car has to pick which one to value? There are different levels of autonomy when it comes to autonomous vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are five levels of autonomy. A level one autonomous vehicle is a vehicle that provides driver info warnings, and driver has informed control. This is done through countless radar and distance sensors and cameras. You might have a level one autonomous car if your car will warn you if you are going over the speed limit, for example. A level two integrates detection and response; a level three is a fully autonomous car, in which a driver will take over in emergencies only; a level four is when all occupants do not need to drive, whatsoever; and a level five is when a vehicle stays connected to other vehicles for awareness of hazards such as accidents or traffic jams.

With car companies like Mercedes-Benz and Tesla, developing near-level four autonomous cars, who knows what will be developed in five years from now, let alone ten years.

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