We’re truly living in the future now – we might not have our hoverboards exactly as we dreamed them, but General Motors has announced that they’re planning to release a driverless car as soon as 2019.
The design of the car, named Cruise AV, is specifically intended to work safely by itself with no human intervention. That means no manual controls, pedals, steering wheel, or even a driver at all.
The vehicle has been designed with the hopes that it will help to reduce the amount of accidents that happen on the road.
A report about self driving safety had a spokesperson from General Motors comment: “Our self-driving vehicles aim to eliminate human driver error — the primary cause of 94 per cent of crashes — leading to fewer injuries and fatalities.”
The self driving cars will also offer other benefits to our environment: they will be all electric, which will help to cut down on vehicle emissions overall.
At first glance, the absence of pedals and a steering wheel in a car seems dangerous. However, General Motors have assured that safety has been tried and tested in ‘every single step of the design, development, manufacturing, testing and validation.’
We can’t argue with that, I suppose.
The autonomous system is reliant on a number of sensors within the car that allow it to ‘see’ what is around it: the whole 360 degrees.
The General Motors spokesperson explained:
“It is designed to identify pedestrians in a crosswalk, or an object darting suddenly into its path, and to respond accordingly.
“It can maneuver through construction cones, yield to emergency vehicles and react to avoid collisions.”
Customers will be able to use a mobile app to ask for a ride from the cars once they have been deployed – so like Uber, but minus the whole driver thing.
From the app, passengers will be able to customise their experience before its arrival, from having their favourite music already playing to ensuring the vehicle is the perfect temperature as they enter.
Inside the car, there will be touch screen tablets that will allow passengers to observe the status information of the ride in real time.
But they won’t be left completely on their own – passengers will also be given the option to communicate with remote support personnel at any time, by pressing a button in the vehicle.
Don’t get too excited yet. It hasn’t been made clear how much this service will set you back, or when and where General Motors are planning to launch it. Let’s just hope they give the UK a chance to experience these cars so we can all feel like we’ve just stepped out of a science fiction movie.
Would you catch a ride from an autonomous car? Let us know in the COMMENTS!