The future of driverless cars here today

Driverless_Freightliner

The Freightliner Inspiration made its way across the Hoover Dam today to become the world´s first licensed autonomous heavy-duty truck allowed to use public roads. The first journey of the driverless vehicle took place on U.S. highway 15 in Las Vegas. The truck is equipped with the intelligent Highway Pilot system for autonomous driving. Watch how the driving is controlled on this YouTube video.

Companies such as Tesla, Google and BMW are producing autonomous cars that will require little to no supervision from the person sitting in the drivers seat.  These companies are focusing on creating a vehicle that will reduce the amount of traffic accidents and DUI arrests. According to the Business Insider magazine, there are approximately 30 companies developing, manufacturing, and releasing autonomous cars, which are being tested in Nevada, California, and Florida.

selfdrivingcompanies

All these companies and more are in the race to find the most effective self-driving car that will make our roads much safer and reduce annual deaths by human error or DUI’s. Additionally, driverless vehicles double efficiency. Human drivers are limited to a maximum of 11 hours a day with standard mandated breaks and are paid per mile. Driverless vehicles are able to be on the road 24 hours a day, and with the speed controlled better, there will be more fuel efficiency.

Auto-pilot cars are being operated by computer, considered an ideal motorist. Approximately 90% percent of accidents on the road are caused by human error – speeding, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, driving unrestrained, drowsy and distracted driving, etc.  These are the topics covered in ABC Drive Safe DUI Courses, offered online on multiple devices, focusing on future DUI prevention. With computers taking the risk away from drunk drivers and taxi services and ride-sharing allowing anyone public transportation in a matter of minutes, we look forward to a future with no DUIs.

Meanwhile, computers are using complicated algorithms to determine how to operate a vehicle and remain attentive to its surroundings. Driverless car computers are able to determine stopping distance and distance from other vehicles as well as communicate with the other auto-pilot vehicles with a behavior known as platooning, making the drive much safer and reducing traffic incidents. Autonomous cars will completely eliminate DUIs, traffic offenses, injuries and fatalities. According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), driverless cars will be optional by 2024, mandatory by 2044.

There are currently two types of self driving cars.  There are semi-autonomous and fully autonomous.  The fully autonomous vehicles, which are projected to show up in 2019, have the ability to drive from the beginning location to its destination.  These specific cars will be able to come across any sort of on-road scenario and get to the destination safely, without needing any sort of interaction from the driver themselves. It is projected that by 2020 there will be 10 million autonomous cars on the road.

selfdrivingonroads

With driverless cars, disabled persons will be able to drive in the comfort of their own car and not have to worry about catching buses or using alternative transportation that could cost more money over time. People who are unable to see or have loss in vision will be free to travel wherever they like without worrying about dangerous road conditions.

Accidents and incidents from people driving drunk should decrease because the driver is not really driving the vehicle. On the other hand, should the car’s driving computer malfunction, the driver will have to take control of the vehicle. Autonomous cars may also lead to an increased number of individuals driving drunk, thinking the vehicle will just drive itself.  California’s Act to add autonomous cars to the vehicle code addresses this directly by stating the vehicle will be operated “by a driver who possesses the proper class of license for the type of vehicle being operated if specified requirements are met, including that the driver be seated in the driver’s seat, monitoring the safe operation of the autonomous vehicle, and capable of taking over”

It is possible to be arrested for a DUI in Nevada, or any other state that legalizes autonomous cars, even if you are in the driver’s seat of an autonomous vehicle since you were in the car and could take control of the vehicle at any time.   There are still actions that the driver need to do to get the autonomous card functioning.  An individual would need to start the car, input navigation directions, and may even need to intervene if there is an emergency.  Even though it is a self-driving car, the inebriated individual would be considered the driver.

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