To Drive Or Not to Drive_Will Technology Take Over

Automotive

Published on August 6th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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To Drive Or Not to Drive_Will Technology Take Over

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How many hours do you waste a day in traffic? This is the question that Mercedes is asking its customers and drivers around the world. As the car population grows faster than our roads are being expanded and built, the car driver in urban areas around the globe is subjected to longer commuting times and higher levels of wasted time. This is why the race is on between car companies to bring to market autonomous cars. Most of the big car companies are currently testing drive-less cars and the hot spot for this testing is going on in California where the top technology companies are located. Yes; and the technology companies are also working to release driver-less cars. Internet search engine giant Google has already put a driver-less car on the road under-going test with people of all ages and walks of life.

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Apple corporation is rumored to be starting work on their own driver-less car and billionaire music mogul Richard Branson is also taking to his Formula E race engineers on the idea of building and marketing their own driver-less car. Therefore it looks like the driver-less car is definitely on its way in the next 15 years. Audi has already ‘driven’ a driver-less car over a lengthy journey. Volvo is currently testing a driver-less fleet in Sweden. Mercedes is working fast to bring to market a driver-less truck for highway only use to reduce driver fatigue, reduce accidents and improve delivery times.

The Mercedes F 015 is a concept total driver-less car that will offer more than self driving. It is a moving robot vehicle that will be able to think for itself once fully developed.

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Automakers expect to introduce autonomous technology in phases, rolling out the cool new features in otherwise conventional cars. In three to five years, we can expect cars to do the heavy lifting during traffic jams and highway cruising, but cede control to their carbon-based occupants the rest of the time. Beyond that comes the more difficult challenge of driving in urban arenas, where there are far more obstacles and variables, like pedestrians, cyclists, cabbies and the like. That’s a tougher nut to crack, but our cars will become increasingly autonomous over the next 25 years, and we can expect them to be fully autonomous by 2040.

The F 015 is a large 17-feet long sedan (longer than a Mercedes S-Class) styled futuristic dream vehicle, brimming with technology that you would expect to see in a sci-fi movie. It could well be the beginning of ‘Genesys’ or the age of ‘Transformers’.

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It has external LED lights that changes colour to let you know if the car is in control. When the blue hue light is on it means that the car is driving itself.

The car interacts with pedestrians and other road users. A pedestrian crossing in front of the vehicle will see the front lights acknowledging their presence whilst the back lights display the pedestrians motion to warn following drivers. This is great feature to allow pedestrians to understand what the car is doing and take steps to work around it.

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The vehicle can even laser-project via its nose to display a virtual crosswalk onto the road in front and informs pedestrians that it is safe to cross. This feature is to enhance road safety where it can be very scary in a world where vehicle drivers ever so often kill and injure pedestrians on permanently marked and signalized pedestrian walks. If a human driver does not stop at known permanent pedestrians walks, why will they stop at temporary ones? For now the F 015 is a concept car, and it is expected to push the boundaries of technology and safety when it comes to market in 2030 (15 years from now).

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