In a few years, the technology that operates self-driving cars is going to be as well-known and commonplace as the technology used in cars today. For now, however, the inner workings of self-driving cars remain a bit of a mystery to most, but when you look at each component in isolation it becomes a little easier to understand how it all works together.
There are a few different approaches to making a car drive itself. Some of the larger companies currently developing these technologies serve as fantastic examples of how very different technologies can achieve similar results. Google’s self-driving car has a unique approach to getting riders from point A to point B safely. To start with, there is a unit on the roof of the car called a LiDAR. This is essentially a radar system that sends out lasers in all directions to get a read on the surrounding area. Additionally, there are sensors in and around the car that get more precise readings of the environment and the position of the car in space. Then, there is the front-facing camera, which looks out for signs, lanes, pedestrians, cyclists, and so on.
Finally, the cars have a GPS unit in the back that relays information from GPS satellites. All these parts working together result in a very aware and intelligent car that is able to get to its destination without assistance from a human driver.
When one thinks about the experience of being in a car that drives itself, the imagination cannot help but wander. Different ideas come up. People might be scheduling video conferences, having breakfast, playing video games, doing their makeup, or taking a nap! Imagine all of the possibilities that the extra free time could bring into your life. It is truly incredible.
People could even drive to work and play slots online to earn a little extra money before the day starts. It seems quite possible that people will start choosing homes even farther from their workplaces so that they can have more free time. Another interesting experience would be all of the sights that you never saw before on familiar routes. Taking time to look out the window and enjoy your city or town would be a great bonus to riding in a self-driving car.
That is self-driving cars in a nutshell. Soon people will be doing all kinds of things in their cars on their way to work, and the idea that you should not text and drive is going to be a thing of the past. More than texting, people might actually take naps in their cars while on their way to work.
Whatever the future picture of this new technology turns out to be, it is sure to be an interesting change to an auto industry that has seen more change in its lifetime than many others. There are very exciting things coming, and we are lucky to be around to see their initiation.