The Car of the Future is Already Here

Giles VanHuss

What if texting and driving wasn’t
a problem? What if reckless driving
was a thing of the past? That day is
not far away. Google is working with
Virginia Tech to create a safe and efficient
self-driving car. “You get to
see a machine that you designed and
built do what you designed and programmed
it to do without any human
input” Tyler Clark said, a student of
VT and a former HHS student. He is
part of a team working with autonomous
cars.
As many people know, Google has
been working to create a self-driving
vehicle for some time and has seen
promising results. Google’s cars have
driven over 435,000 miles accident
free and without the assistance of a
human driver.
Recently though, Google has started
a partnership with Virginia Tech
to test Google’s self-driving vehicle.
In testing, a driver is put into the car
and has to go through a series of scenarios
where the driver would have to
take control. These tests are made to
show how a driver would react if they
had to take control of the vehicle.
Google is using Virginia Tech’s
Smart Road to test their vehicles and
gather knowledge to improve the car.
The partnership also involves the U.S.
Department of Transportation which
provides two million dollars in funding.
The partnership should lead to
a quick creation of a precise vehicle
that drives like a human. Also, with
technology constantly improving, it
will further technology with planes,
trains and other types of vehicles.
The distribution and use of selfdriving
cars could change driving.
People wouldn’t have to worry about
wrecks, texting and driving or bad
drivers in general. “There would be
less driver anger at crossroads because
people can’t cut each other off” said
Drew Heinsius.
It will also lower the amount of
driver related accidents with pedestrians
as well. Without human drivers,
people can walk and drive without
the worry of being hit by a two
ton piece of metal going fifty in a forty
mile an hour speed limit.
Self driving cars use a constantly
rotating laser sensor mounted on the
top of the car. Other sensors and cameras
on the bottom of the car as well
as on the side to monitor traffic, watch
blind spots, see road signs, and stay in
the lanes. These sensors also monitor
the road itself, and map where the car
has been to build a better 3D map of
the road you drive everyday.
The future holds endless opertunities
for cars, as well as other vehicles.
It will help countless amounts of
people everyday.With the technology
getting better everyday, how long
will it be until everyone has one?
With Google and Virginia Tech
working on autonomous cars it cannot
be long before it is in production.
With enough time, money and
knowledge, the self driving car may
be one of the most innovative inventions
created.

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