/ 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!

Recall roundup: Volkswagen Golf VII GTI
Recall roundup: Volkswagen Golf VII GTIVolkswagen has issued a recall for the new generation of the Golf GTI in the United States because of some problems found with ...
[VIDEO] 2015 Toyota Yaris Hybrid gets tested out by “Which?”
[VIDEO] 2015 Toyota Yaris Hybrid gets tested out by “Which?”The automotive journalists from “Which?” have recently tested out the updated version of the Toyota Yaris, in the Yaris ...
[VIDEO] Cadillac ATS-V Sedan flies around on the Ring
[VIDEO] Cadillac ATS-V Sedan flies around on the RingThe brand new Cadillac ATS-V Sedan has been recently caught on camera on the famous German track, the Nurburgring, while it was ...
Base Porsche Cayenne V6 gets dropped in the U.S.
Base Porsche Cayenne V6 gets dropped in the U.S.Porsche has announced that the base version of the Cayenne, powered by a V6 engine, will no longer be available for order in the ...
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat planned
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat plannedThe North American based automaker Chrysler is planning to introduce a new model which will continue the SRT Hellcat ...
Fiat previews 500L Vans Concept
Fiat previews 500L Vans ConceptFiat has released the first official images and details with a brand new concept car based on the 500L, the so-called 500L Vans ...
Audi A3 e-tron gets priced in the UK
Audi A3 e-tron gets priced in the UKAudi has recently announced the official starting price of the new A3 e-tron in the United Kingdom, where the plug-in hybrid ...
[VIDEO] Ferrari 458 Speciale gets tested out by EVO
[VIDEO] Ferrari 458 Speciale gets tested out by EVOThe guys from EVO have recently went for a spin in the new and impressive version of the Ferrari 458 Italia, the 458 ...
Recall roundup: Faulty Takata inflators affecting Mazda6 and RX-8 vehicles
Recall roundup: Faulty Takata inflators affecting Mazda6 and RX-8 vehiclesMazda has officially announced a series of recalls for its vehicles because of the faulty Takata airbag inflators, which are ...
Jaguar Land Rover buys all-British, 543 car collection
Jaguar Land Rover buys all-British, 543 car collectionOne can only dream about a vast, endless collection of cars, whether vintage or new, exotic or accessible. Some can afford the ...
2015 Ford F-150 gets priced over-seas
2015 Ford F-150 gets priced over-seasThe North American based automaker Ford has officially announced the price list for the 2015 model year F-150, on its local auto ...
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA gets priced in the U.S.
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA gets priced in the U.S.Mercedes-Benz has announced the starting price of the 2015 GLA in the United States, where the crossover will be setting you back ...
[VIDEO] Thirteen Lamborghini Huracan supercars spotted near factory
[VIDEO] Thirteen Lamborghini Huracan supercars spotted near factoryNo less than 13 units of the production spec Lamborghini Huracan have been recently spotted on the roads near the company’s ...
US: Nissan looking to pass Honda
US: Nissan looking to pass HondaAfter announcing the results for the April-June quarter, the Japanese automaker also discussed in detail the situation in its ...
[VIDEO] See the Ferrari 458 Speciale crash in Johannesburg
[VIDEO] See the Ferrari 458 Speciale crash in JohannesburgThe footage with the Ferrari 458 Speciale being crashed in South Africa, on the Kyalami track, has been recently uploaded onto ...
Read more automotive news


2013 Frankfurt Motor Show Live Images

fiat 500l vans concept 1
lamborghini aventador tuning sr auto 1
2015 polaris slingshot 1
2015 kia sorento 1
2014 mercedes-benz vito 1
buick envision 1
Archivnummer: SSPIP39469
Renault Twingo RS 01
audi r8 rbdesign tuning 1
bmw m4 coupe crash france 1
2015 kia soul 1
2014 mini cooper s tuning maxi-tuner 1

More automotive from inautonews
Volkswagen has issued a recall for the new generation of the Golf GTI in the United States because of some problems found with the front stabilizer rods. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 2,001 units of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, from the new generation, ...
read more
Inautonews Editors Section
PREVIEW – Hungarian GP 2014
PREVIEW – Hungarian GP 2014“The circuit is a decent measure of a car’s mechanical grip, due to the need of having good traction out of many slow corners. In terms of ...
Review – German GP 2014
Review – German GP 2014Taking Rosberg’s easy win out of the picture, the German GP was truly spectacular, full of wheel-to-wheel racing, some of the overtakes backfiring ...
Britain and Germany go to war
Britain and Germany go to war1995, the German Grand Prix at the old Hockenheimring. Damon Hill leads at the end of lap one ahead of Schumacher but loses the car at the first ...

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: Volkswagen Golf VII GTIVolkswagen has issued a recall for the new generation of the Golf GTI in the United States because ... Recall roundup: Faulty Takata inflators affecting Mazda6 and RX-8 vehiclesMazda has officially announced a series of recalls for its vehicles because of the faulty Takata ...
Safety Section