/ 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!

For sale – Rowan Atkinson’s McLaren F1
For sale – Rowan Atkinson’s McLaren F1Rowan Atkinson, Mr. Bean himself, has decided to get rid of his classic McLaren F1 and he is currently asking for 8 million ...
US: California plays hide-and-seek with regulation affecting car-sharing services
US: California plays hide-and-seek with regulation affecting car-sharing servicesThe state of California decided to revoke a notice issued on January 5 that cited an 80-year old law that mandated private ...
Render – Audi Q6
Render – Audi Q6Another rendering with the Audi Q6 is showing us the upcoming model which will be rivaling the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and the ...
Europe – Honda Accord axed
Europe – Honda Accord axedHonda will be stopping the production of the Accord across the Old Continent for good because of slow sales of the model. The ...
McLaren 675LT confirmed for Geneva
McLaren 675LT confirmed for GenevaMcLaren will officially pull the wraps off the body of the 675LT supercar during the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, which will be ...
Suppliers already pitch the systems of tomorrow to the automakers
Suppliers already pitch the systems of tomorrow to the automakersWith increasingly technological cars on the horizon, the automotive industry world has started to pick up pace much in the way ...
Meet the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Tour de France 64 special edition
Meet the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Tour de France 64 special editionFerrari has officially pulled the wraps off the F12 Berlinetta Tour de France special edition during the Dream Cars Show in ...
Mercedes AMG GT officially priced in the U.S.
Mercedes AMG GT officially priced in the U.S.Mercedes has officially announced the starting price of the AMG GT across the United States, where the sports car costs 129,900 ...
Checkout the Peugeot RCZ R Bimota
Checkout the Peugeot RCZ R BimotaThe brand new Peugeot RCZ R Bimota has been officially unveiled by the car manufacturer during a Motor Bike show in Verona, ...
Ford’s fourth-quarter profit hit by $800 million Venezuelan currency charge
Ford’s fourth-quarter profit hit by $800 million Venezuelan currency chargeThe second-largest US automaker, Ford Motor recently announced that a charge that came from Venezuela related operations has ...
Honda detailing Euro-spec CR-V
Honda detailing Euro-spec CR-VNew details and images with the Euro-spec Honda CR-V have been recently released by the carmaker. The facelifted version of the ...
Europe: GM believes local unit’s recovery is on track
Europe: GM believes local unit’s recovery is on trackGeneral Motors’s ongoing strive to revert its loss-making Opel/Vauxhall division to positive results may end this year, even as ...
Renault Kadjar crossover officially announced
Renault Kadjar crossover officially announcedA new compact crossover will be introduced in the near future by Renault, as the model has been recently announced. The French ...
Report – Honda taps Takata rival for Accord airbags
Report – Honda taps Takata rival for Accord airbagsAccording to company sources that have knowledge of the carmaker’s strategy, Japan’s third largest automaker, Honda Motor, ...
Kia’s fourth-quarter profit takes 54% dive on currency headwinds
Kia’s fourth-quarter profit takes 54% dive on currency headwindsSouth Korean automaker Kia saw its fourth quarter net profit tumble 54 percent because the company was dearly hit by the Russian ...
Read more automotive news


2013 Frankfurt Motor Show Live Images

audi q6 render 1
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Tour de France 64 1
Peugeot RCZ R Bimota 1
2015 honda cr-v 1
2015 Brussels Motor Show Dream Cars 96
Spy-Photo
02-Bike-Sense-cyclist-in-window
Spy-Photo
mercedes amg gt roadster 1
Sebastian Mackensen new MINI Boss
ford mondeo shooting brake 1
2016 honda civic type r spied 1

More automotive from inautonews
Rowan Atkinson, Mr. Bean himself, has decided to get rid of his classic McLaren F1 and he is currently asking for 8 million GBP. In case you have been looking for a McLaren F1 to add to your garage, than you should probably check out the one currently owned by Rowan Atkinson, as the 60-year old ...
read more
Inautonews Editors Section
Is the auto industry ready for the aluminum revolution?
Is the auto industry ready for the aluminum revolution?While the fact that a vehicle can have aluminum body has come to widespread attention ever since Ford announced that its best-selling F-150 truck has ...
NAIAS 2015: the best and worst
NAIAS 2015: the best and worstThe 2015 North American International Auto Show is the perfect sign that USA’s auto industry has recovered fully from the brink of collapse that ...
Cutting-edge technology we could see in vehicles by 2020
Cutting-edge technology we could see in vehicles by 2020While the month of January is not even over yet, the world of automotive industry has already presented itself with two weeks of awe and wonder for ...

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 Euro NCAP: New Skoda Fabia, best in classThe new generation of the Skoda Fabia has been named the safest car in its segment by Euro NCAP, ... Recall roundup: Toyota Prius V for airbag problemsToyota has recently issued a recall for several Prius V models because of a possible problem with ...
Safety Section