/ Editors, News, Other, Sticky news, Videos / Autonomous cars represent the future, but do we really want them?

Autonomous cars represent the future, but do we really want them?

Linked In Share
Autonomous cars represent the future, but do we really want them?

The autonomous car history started all the way back in 1925 when Houdina Radio Control has shown a radio-controlled driverless car, travelling New York City streets on Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Since then, a lot has changed, but is this really the future?

The 1926 Chandler was the first autonomous car and it was equipped with a transmitting antennae on the tonneau, being operated by a second car which followed it. This sent radio impulses caught by the antennae, which introduced the signals to the circuit-breakers operating the small electric motors. Francis’ invention was used one year later under the “Phantom Auto” name in Milwakee and it was demonstrated once again in June 1932, in Fredericksburg.

This doesn’t seem to have happened ages ago and between that technology and the Google driverless car there is a simple and yet main difference: technology. The robotic cars made by the giant company have 150,000 USD equipment in them, including the LIDAR (laser radar) system, worth alone 70,000 USD. The laser is generating a detailed 3D map of the environment which is combined with a high resolution map of the world, producing data which is allowing the car to control itself. The cameras fitted inside take pictures of the surrounding and they are supplied to the internal computer, detecting any obstacles in the way but keeping track of the road signs and road data too.

A test group of at least ten cars have been equipped with this technology, including six Toyota Prius, three Lexus RS450h and an Audi TT. The team, consisting of a dozen drivers with unblemished driving records and one of Google’s engineers, has experienced an incident in 2011 but the web giant stated that the driverless car was being driven manually at the time of the crash. Despite the visible success of the Google autonomous car (cars), the company has no immediate plans to commercially develop the system, a statement which can only bring joy.

As a good comparison here we can mention the revolution with the automatic transmission which dropped the manual versions from a lot of vehicles only to be added once again to performance models, at the request of petrol heads. There will be no more driving pleasure if autonomous cars hit the road and you won’t be able to simply get out at evening only to drive with the windows down looking at the sunset and listening to your favorite tune on the radio.

What about motorsport? No one has asked the question what will happen to motorsport in, let’s say, 100 years, because I can bet my belt that next century vehicles with the technology used today will be similar to a horse and a carriage and autonomous vehicles will be found just about everywhere. How will professional racing drivers evolve? Or will motorsport be killed? Let’s just remember the epic Group B of rallying which, unfortunately, will never come back again because of health and safety regulations, but all car fanatics will stick their heads to the monitors when playing the video posted below.


Tuning is another domain which will slightly disappear once autonomous cars will hit the market because no one will modify his ride anymore. Will we still see those hideous gold plated supercars owned by sheiks? What about emergency vehicles like the police, ambulances or fire trucks, will they be autonomous too? Will policemen involve in car chases or will patients reach hospitals faster in an ambulance? And why should I trust my house with a driverless vehicle which is coming over to put out the fire?

A lot of people currently working as chauffeurs or who are driving taxis or massive trucks for a living will lose their jobs because employers will have no reason to pay them because they can simply load the goods in the back, click “drive” and close the door and so many lives will be eventually ruined. Let’s not mention that we won’t get to see a proper test drive because things like handling or tuned suspension system will be long forgotten.

Servicing will be another major problem with autonomous driving cars because as cheap as it may be to change some sensors, lenses, lasers or the usual filters, oil or braking pads there will always be a group of people who will think that they can do it on their own, on a sunny day. And you will relax in your driverless car which was serviced properly, sipping a glass of scotch on the way to work but on the same road, a guy who has worked on his vehicle all weekend discovers a “blue screen” saying “error”.

We all have in our cars the basis for driverless cars, “cruise control”, but how many of us trust the radar guided cruise control? I sure don’t as I was so close to rearending the vehicle in front of me numerous times, and I’m not talking about a single car which can have some problems, because 99 percent of test cars have an issue with this technology. So let’s really think if we do want autonomous vehicles anytime soon and if the answer is “hell, no!” than slap the person who will bring them into discussion next time.

by Cristian Gnaticov (my Google+) - Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 - filed under Editors, News, Other, Sticky news, Videos. Image credit: .
Linked In Share
Related Articles
autonomous cars driverless cars future Technology


Discuss: Autonomous cars represent the future, but do we really want them?

Leave a Reply















Inautonews Facebook PageInautonews RSS FeedInautonews TwitterInautonews Youtube Channel

Sign up to receive our email newsletter on your email. It's safe. No spam!

Ferrari replaces Mattiacci with Arrivabene
Ferrari replaces Mattiacci with ArrivabeneNov.24 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Ferrari on Monday confirmed reports team boss Marco Mattiacci is being replaced after just seven ...
BMW M4 GTRS by Vorsteiner
BMW M4 GTRS by VorsteinerThe aftermarket specialists from Vorsteiner have pulled the wraps off their newest creation, the BMW M4 GTRS wide body ...
Smart ForTwo by Brabus confirmed
Smart ForTwo by Brabus confirmedA Daimler executive has recently confirmed the company’s plans to produce a hot version of the new Smart ForTwo generation, ...
[VIDEO] McLaren P1 vs. Porsche 918 Spyder by EVO
[VIDEO] McLaren P1 vs. Porsche 918 Spyder by EVOEVO has put together two of the hottest supercars money can buy these days, the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder. A new ...
Lamborghini Huracan gets tweaked by DMC
Lamborghini Huracan gets tweaked by DMCLamborghini’s newest supercar, the Huracan, has been recently worked on by tuning specialists from DMC. One of the hottest ...
[VIDEO] Sebastian Vettel drives Ferrari F12 Berlinetta with 350 km/h on public road
[VIDEO] Sebastian Vettel drives Ferrari F12 Berlinetta with 350 km/h on public roadFour times Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel has driven a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta with 350 km/h on a public road, in Abu ...
BMW to increase i8 production
BMW to increase i8 productionThe German based automaker BMW will be increasing the production of the i8 in order to reduce the waiting time for the impressive ...
Recall roundup: BMW 20i and 28i models
Recall roundup: BMW 20i and 28i modelsBMW has recently announced a new recall affecting a lot of its models because of some potential problems with the brake power ...
Jay Leno gives Challenger SRT Hellcat to wounded veteran
Jay Leno gives Challenger SRT Hellcat to wounded veteranFamous petrol head Jay Leno has recently tossed the keys to a brand new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Most people are ...
[Videos] Fiat Chrysler Automobiles makes a splash during the American Music Awards
[Videos] Fiat Chrysler Automobiles makes a splash during the American Music AwardsSunday night's American Music Awards also had an automotive star – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In the space of just a few hours, ...
2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek gets priced in the U.S.
2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek gets priced in the U.S.Subaru has recently announced a number of revisions for the XV Crosstrek, for the 2015 model year, and now the model’s pricing ...
Porsche 918 Spyder seen in Brazil
Porsche 918 Spyder seen in BrazilA stunning white example of the Porsche 918 Spyder, equipped with the Weissach package, has been recently spotted out in ...
Holiday travel tips: drive safe with your pets onboard
Holiday travel tips: drive safe with your pets onboardAs the Christmas holiday season is fast approaching it’s safe to assume that many car owners are going to hit the – ...
Mazda2 Wagon looks good
Mazda2 Wagon looks goodA few renderings with a new body style of the Mazda2 are showing us how the model may look like as a wagon. The Japanese based ...
[VIDEO] Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS gets tested by Autocar
[VIDEO] Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS gets tested by AutocarSteve Sutcliffe from Autocar has recently had the opportunity to drive the brand new Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS. The newest model ...
Read more automotive news


2013 Frankfurt Motor Show Live Images

BMW M4 GTRS by Vorsteiner 1
lamborghini huracan tuning dmc 1
porsche 918 spyder weissach white brazil 1
2015 mazda2 wagon 1
Toyota Corolla RZ Special Edition 1
bmw m4 coupe crash south africa 1
lamborghini-veneno-malaysia 1
2015 nissan murano 1
hyundai-i10-sound-edition 1
Spy-Shots of Cars
Kia Sorento X-Men 1
Spy-Shots of Cars

More automotive from inautonews
The aftermarket specialists from Vorsteiner have pulled the wraps off their newest creation, the BMW M4 GTRS wide body kit. Originally unveiled a few weeks ago during the 2014 SEMA Motor Show, the M4 GTRS is representing a follow-up of the GTS kit, with more added goodies. The kit has been made ...
read more
Inautonews Editors Section
Test Drive: Ford Fiesta ST
Test Drive: Ford Fiesta ST The current generation of the Ford Fiesta ST has been officially presented to the public back in March, 2012, during the Geneva Motor Show, and it ...
Test Drive: Renault Twizy – Back to basics
Test Drive: Renault Twizy – Back to basics Renault has been producing the Twizy for a couple of years now, in its Valladolid, Spain, facility but spotting one on European roads can turn out ...
Test Drive: Mercedes-Benz SL400
Test Drive: Mercedes-Benz SL400 The Mercedes-Benz SL is currently in its sixth generation and since the company has released a new entry-level, the SL400, which is basically the ...

Editors Section
Inautonews Editors Section
2012 Safest Cars list 2011 Safest Cars [Video] 2011 IIHS Safest Cars [Video] 2011 EuroNCAP Safest Cars 2010 Safest Cars [Video]

Latest in Safety Recall roundup: BMW 20i and 28i modelsBMW has recently announced a new recall affecting a lot of its models because of some potential ... US: FCA CEO cautioned by the NHTSA over Jeep recallThe US government auto safety regulator specifically told Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Sergio ...
Safety Section