With the imminent arrival of self-driving cars, the debate is wide open. We are facing a challenge that could transform the auto industry very soon. Thanks to its Driverless Car Program, Google is a pioneer in this field. Chris Urmson has led this project since 2009, and he recently gave a TED Talk on the matter.
Urmson begins his presentation with shocking data: 1.2 million people die each year in traffic accidents, with 33,000 deaths just in the United States. On the other hand, a tremendous amount of time is spent driving each day going from point A to point B, and this time could be optimized to a large degree through the use of self-driving cars. Throughout his talk, Urmson describes how the project has evolved from self-driving vehicles that require human supervision, to technological improvements, and ultimately incorporating sensors that significantly reduce collisions. Therefore, the debate is focused on “how vehicles see the world.” The challenge is that vehicles must be able to predict. A car must “know” where it is and what objects surround it. It must clearly distinguish between a police car and a school bus, and it must also interpret signals, including those of cyclists or traffic guards. Each day, three million miles (4,828,032 km) are driven in simulators, with the resulting experience that is gained by these vehicles. In summary, the aim is to evolve in order to lower the number of traffic accidents and to transform cities, such as by reducing the urban areas that are set aside for parking.
Transportation of the future: car sharing
On July 5th, Osvald Martret, CEO and co-founder of Drivania, visited Radio 4’s Club 21, El Club de las Mentes Inquietas program to explain Drivania's business.
Transportation of the future includes self-driving vehicles as well as car sharing. The Shotl project, which is aligned with this transportation revolution, focuses on providing people with mobility by means of door-to-door car sharing for time optimization at an economical price.