So, the driverless technology is here. But we’re not really seeing the cars on the roads yet. So to who do you turn if you dream about driving around – without driving?
Two companies has gained a lot of attention on their work with the self-driving technology; Google and Tesla.
Google was one of the first companies to experiment with the driverless technology using a Toyota Prius retrofitted with the technology in 2009, which became the start of Google’s self-driving car project.
Currently, Google has a fleet of driverless cars, with 34 of the Koala vehicles and 24 Lexus SUVs retrofitted with Google’s driverless tech on the road.
Since 2009, the cars have only been in minor accidents, whereas only accident could be considered the fault of the Google car, which was when one of Google’s cars tried to pull in front of a bus and instead drove into its side. You can read more about Google’s driverless project, Waymo, here.
Tesla, another one of the major driverless developers are currently inches away from having self-driving cars. They’ve recently proclaimed on their website that “We are excited to announce that, as of today, all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory – including Model 3 – will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver”. That means that there is a possibility that you’ve already interacted or met a driverless car on the streets. However, the one death where a driverless car was implicated, was a Tesla car. Wanna know more about driverless cars and deaths – read more on The ethical dilemma.
But not to worry! Many other car manufactorers are currently working on driverless technology. To name a few Apple, Audi, Volvo, General Motors and Mercedes Benz, so you should have an opportunity to chose your preferred provider of driverless cars.
Despite the fact that many manufacturers are working with driverless technology, the vehicle is only authorized for testing, and is currently being tested in a few chosen states in America. No private owners are permitted to own or drive an autonomous vehicle, but experts predicts that driverless cars will hit the roads in 2017-2025 – you can read more about that on the next page.