The road to driving autonomous

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In the mid of the last decade began the career by making vehicles that were expected to begin to behave by themselves, without the necessity of a human intervention. The aim is to achieve a revolution in the transport, in which the conductors will regain time to do what they want, and victims of trafficking will be anecdotes statistics.

At that time the technology was in its infancy. It was unthinkable that an autonomous vehicle could circulate alone in the street. The U.s. Government funded it with good success to a competition of autonomous cars in the desert and abandoned military bases. In that competition no matter the speed, but who arrange to get to the end. Finish was already a success.

today the technology has advanced sufficiently to greatly reduce the size of the computers needed (to fill half a car to a few chips) and the programming routines have been refined quite a bit. Several cars now allow driving semi-autonomous: you can assign the control to the electronics, in conditions very specific. Ultimately responsible for it is a human being.

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To reach the stage of driving fully autonomous is a long journey yet, and that involves talk of money, a lot of money. On the other hand, the automobile companies not only compete among them, has emerged a new kind of competition: technology companies.

the Internet has given rise to several companies with billings of astronomical that they have many and huge resources to get into an industry that is alien to it: the automotive industry. Other companies, like Apple, have been forged in the world of technology before the Internet was what it is today. It is like, I have plenty of money.

The automobile companies, on the other hand, are engaging in business that they too were alien. From simple sellers of cars and parts have gone to be suppliers of mobility: in addition to the traditional sale put within the reach of the people alternative services. For example, PSA has the rental company of electric cars Emov (without prejudice to who wants to buy an electric for him, sell).

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One of the first autonomous cars, based on Volkswagen Touareg

In this competition there are giant corporations, see Ford, or Google, and other very tiny: the start-ups. The companies of this latter type are founded with very few resources and have a route very promising. You have to distinguish between what is a seller of smoke and a business that can generate tons of money when I grow up.

As soon as you purchase an innovative or disruptive, the less money there will be to invest, but the uncertainty will be larger. The quickest way to obtain the knowledge and the talent happens to extend stubs, although the technological and automotive industries have their own engineers working and contributing ideas.

Starts to play a convergence between automobile and technology, and already can’t live dissociated. It is possible that in a few years, we seem so normal that Amazon and General Motors to work together, PSA decide to buy Opel. Some analysts believe that there will be a time of mergers and acquisitions for businesses create even larger and stronger.

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The autonomous car will be a lucrative business in the next decade and all the ones that go behind. On the opposite side, the traditional business of selling cars is more difficult, high competition, high costs, a lot of rules and margins are not always interesting. The manufacturers have to think about what they will eat in the future.

All this is from the technological point of view, but also has to advance the legislation, which goes step-by-step to see how just this, and also from the point of view of the society. The engineers are well ahead of the laws and the ideas of the people. Can be the technology ready before you are fully regulated and that the public has a total acceptance by the technology.

, we must Not lose sight of the fact that any incident of severity of autonomous cars can become very bad publicity and lead to rejection. The 100% security is very difficult to achieve, but everything seems to indicate that with cars autonomous are going to be reduced the accidents to a greater amount of that is going to increase. Considering the net balance, it seems that everyone wins.