Survey Reveals Self-Driving Car Concerns
More than sixty-six percent of motorists are against government plans to allow self-driving vehicles to be tested on the road from January 2015, Smart Witness has revealed. As such, this survey of more than one-thousand people showed that the majority think that “further checks are needed” before such machinery is let loose. Furthermore, nearly ninety percent claimed that such vehicles should be fitted with a forward-facing camera to reveal who – or what – is to blame for any collision. Smart Witness produces these cameras that have cleared countless motorists of blame (and convicted others). Interestingly, eighty percent of the survey respondents said there could be “added complications” when resolving insurance disputes and that computer error “would always be suspected as the cause of the crash”. The latter could ensure that self-driving vehicles are expensive to insure (at least until proven safe/reliable long term).
Government Searches For Test Centers
Irrespective of these concerns, self-driving cars will soon be part of life. The Business Secretary Vince Cable has, therefore, called on cities to bid for a share of ten million pounds to become test centres for these machines. Up to three cities will be selected and trials are likely to last between eighteen and thirty-six months. The government has also launched a road regulation review to ensure legislation keeps up with technology. The review will, therefore, consider rules relating to cars that have a driver that can take control if required, and those without. The Business Secretary claimed that such initiatives will put us: “at the forefront of this transformational technology” and create economic opportunities. Transport Minister Claire Perry added that such cars could: ”Improve safety, reduce congestion and lower emissions”. Let us hope that she is correct.
Nissan LEAF RobotCar & Google Self-Driving Car Project
Self-driving cars come in various forms. RobotCar, for example – which is based on a Nissan LEAF - cannot travel everywhere automatically by default. It must first be driven by a human so it learns its route and landmarks. It then recognises these on later trips and asks permission to take over. Perfect to regular routes. This capability comes via three computers. The Main Vehicle Computer is an off-the-shelf unit positioned in the boot. There is also a Low Level Controller and an iPad that runs the touch-screen interface. These complement cameras and lasers that interpret the surroundings and help navigate. The Google Self-Driving Car Project, in contrast, incorporates a wider range of cars such as the Lexus RX450h/Toyota Prius. Technical highlights include the Lidar which is a rotating roof mounted sensor that scans two-hundred feet feet in every direction. Its purpose is to create a three-dimensional map. Also, the Position Estimator in the left rear wheel plots the car's location on this map and measures movement. This complements a video camera that sits close to the rear-view mirror and detects traffic lights and hazards.