June 29th, 2013 - by DKRPA
For nearly a decade, researchers have been studying how develop technologies that will allow for the creation of driverless cars. Although this may seem like a gimmick, many experts believe that these technologies, if properly used, could help significantly reduce the incidence of car accidents across the country. Currently, federal regulators are approaching a decision as to whether all new cars in the U.S. would be required to have this technology installed.
The use of driverless car technology has been on display this week in Washington, D.C. at a function for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The driverless systems use a combination of Global Positioning System technology and wireless networks to coordinate movements between vehicles.
Given the increase in recent years in accidents caused by distracted driving, the development of systems that do not require driver input makes sense. In addition to making the roads safer, researchers also hope that driverless systems will lead to a more efficient transportation system that will produce less pollution and cause fewer traffic backups.
Automakers such as General Motors and Ford are currently conducting tests on their own driverless vehicles. The cars are designed to keep a constant speed, maintain distance between other vehicles and to remain centered in traffic lanes. In addition, companies such as Google have been conducting their own tests and, according to experts, it may be working on software that would be key to controlling automated vehicles.
It seems that driverless cars are still a few years away, but they may be here and ready for use before people realize it.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “‘Connected’ cars could get a government boost,” Steve Rosenbush, June 27, 2013