Self-driving Cars: Three Reasons Driverless Vehicles Are Slow to Develop
07 Jun 2021
Every car owner wants the best driving experience. They want the best engine, accessories, car parts, and other components that make a quality vehicle. Others even go to extremes by buying the latest car model or applying cool modifications. Some are stylish enough to get fresh upholstery and custom floor mats for vehicles for a personalized interior.
Developments in the automotive industry have come a long way in terms of driving capabilities and stylish elements. This includes self-driving cars that have been a hot topic in recent years. Carmakers are dropping the terms “autonomous”, “mobility”, and “self-driving”, which got every tech and car enthusiast squabbling online about this latest car innovation.
A few years after their conception, self-driving cars have been making few developments. For many years, the auto industry has given a lot of autonomous driving promises but delivered too little to its consumers. Experts attribute this hesitance for several factors to safety, public acceptance, regulations, and tech developments. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at the unexpected obstacles faced by the autonomous driving industry.
There are legislative and regulatory obstacles to the widespread distribution and use of self-driving cars, including privacy concerns. Even regulators and lawmakers worldwide cannot keep pace with crafting policies about this newfound innovation.
Information access is just one of the few issues that baffle policymakers. Since self-driving cars have to stay connected to a network to run, hackers will eventually find a way to manipulate these vehicles. This is quite problematic since self-driving cars have no clear concept of civic-mindedness and restraint.
The thing is, the automotive industry remains widely self-regulating, specifically in knowing if a certain car technology is safe enough to drive on open roads. Sadly, lawmakers fail in setting standards for making these resolutions.
While it’s imperative to conduct a performance assessment of self-driving cars in a real environment, it can only happen if lawmakers provide a comprehensive evaluation and safety testing. They need to establish a set of tests and criteria and order carmakers to create a benchmark based on the required data sets to ensure autonomous vehicles are safe enough to use on open roads.
For instance, Australia has been lacking support in establishing the safe commercial operation and deployment of autonomous cars. Because of this, Australia’s National Transport Commission is taking the lead in developing reforms about safety and innovation to allow its citizens to enjoy the benefits of self-driving cars.
In this case, regulators should adopt a systematic approach to self-driving certification, where the self-driving vehicle will undergo a thorough evaluation under a simulated landscape and real-world environments. If the car passes the exam, regulators will allow it to operate on open roads.
Self-driving cars have five different levels. Unfortunately, not all drivers are aware of this, including the difference between a fully autonomous car and one that’s semi-autonomous. Many are also clueless that a self-driving car knows when to follow the car in front of it, the right time to make a quick stop, and even identify an incoming animal or a double-parked public transportation.
The thing about people is they are paranoid and unforgiving once a risky situation happens with technology involved. One example is Tesla’s autopilot system that has encountered fatal accidents since 2016.
Today, federal investigators and carmakers slowly recognize that semi-autonomous cars pose more threats than driving an average car. It brings a lot of confusion about the concept behind car automation, since it may still require humans to perform a critical driving role in terms of the level of driving engagement.
For lawmakers, self-driving cars are prone to mushy notions that can get people injured, or even killed.
While driverless cars promise a rosy future for their users, carmakers are struggling to keep up to their own promises. Self-driving cars heavily rely on LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology that allows the vehicle to navigate the road and detect nearby objects.
The sad reality is that LIDAR sensors are extremely expensive, difficult to produce, and rare. There are only a few manufacturers of LIDAR sensors, but they only produce them in small quantities, making it difficult for carmakers to generate self-driving cars.
LIDAR sensors are just a few of the technology hurdles that concern carmakers in producing autonomous vehicles. They are still in search of necessary modifications to make them efficient and effective enough to deal with extreme road conditions.
While the future of the auto industry is still uncertain, there’s only one thing we know: self-driving cars are still subject to further developments. There’ are a lot of things we don’t understand about technology yet, and it only takes the right expertise and timing to experience a new revolution that will eventually happen.