Cloud Connected Cars and Your SafetyMarch 6, 2017 No Comments
Featured article by Jeremy Sutter, Independent Technology Author
As vehicles become more advanced, a lot of people are hoping that there will be large improvements in driver safety. One of the riskiest things that many people do regularly is driving their automobile. Each year, 30,800 people die because of a car crashes. This massive carnage is something that every driver risks whenever they turn the key. Thankfully, some clever manufacturers like Tesla and Google are thinking differently.
A driving safety course usually emphasizes awareness. It tests the person on their ability to observe and remember the laws of the road. Sadly, many humans are not capable of taking their memorized knowledge and applying it properly to sudden real world situations. When a crisis occurs, they draw a blank. This means that only the rarefied percent of heavily focused and super alert people are really safe on the roadway. When we think about how careless many of us get when driving, it should give us chills.
One of the things that many drivers suffer from is complacency. They get so used to doing their routine that they forget to stay ready to defend themselves if something goes wrong. What modern technology brought is new driver protection tools. One of the most effective ways to remove driver error is to remove the driver. While this might seem science fiction, it is being tested with the Waymo project. Cloud connected cars could tap into a global database of maps such as those at Google Maps.
One of the things that Waymo offers is a promise of removing the driver error that results from foolish drivers not knowing how to drive properly. Many people feel afraid of driving systems that are not run by humans. After all, how can a computer drive better than a human? It depends on the quality of the sensors that the computer is connected to. Humans have much better sensors than most computers. However, they are emotional beings. They interpret the information they get through their senses incorrectly many times because of irrational feelings. Computers are extremely logical. They run on yes and no. If input true, then do this. If input false, then do this. They only make errors when sensors give them data that does not match their environment, or if their processor gets overwhelmed by too much data.
The key to making self-driving cars work is designing better sensors. If the sensors are extremely high quality than the self-driving car will be far better than a human driver. What has kept self-driving cloud connected cars from becoming a reality is the sensors not being good enough. It was only recently that lasers became small enough to fit them on a vehicle. It was only recently that processors became high quality enough to manage all the data flowing in from multiple sensors that are equivalent to a human eye.
Cloud connected cars offer a new future without human error induced tragedies. Many cities are skeptical of self-driving, but some are seeing the benefits. If enough organizations catch on, driving may be a thing of the past in the next 40 years. The lives saved and the efficiency gained by not having to drive freight trucks and passenger buses will be enormous.
The only groups who might complain include those who like to drive, and freight drivers. Even they should be happy that they do not have to engage in a risky and often boring profession. Going on road trips will be less exhausting on auto drive. Long overnight trips in an RV will be possible. This might cut into airline profits because more people will be willing to take long trips. Cloud connected software offers more than just a useful storage device.