Self-driving vehicles a priority for automakers

Billions are being invested into making autonomous cars in the near future and several traditional and upcoming car companies demonstrated them at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

03/05/2016


Perhaps the biggest upcoming robotics-driven economic and social change will be the arrival of fully autonomous (self-driving) vehicles. Imagine a world full of self-driving cars, planes and boats. The benefits range from life-saving and cost reduction to greater mobility options for people of all ages.

This Mercedes concept sedan, which drove autonomously around the Las Vegas Strip and on the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) stage, is an example of a self-driving vehicle, which has become a major priority for traditional and non-traditional automakers. CBillions are being invested into making autonomous cars and planes a reality in the near future. Traditional car companies such as BMW, General Motors and Toyota and new entrants such as Tesla, Google and Apple are vying to be the among the first to introduce fully autonomous vehicles to the roads.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), most of the car companies and their major suppliers from around the world either had booths or meeting rooms to show off their concepts for the future and projects and products from now until then. This Mercedes concept sedan, which drove autonomously around the Las Vegas Strip and on the CES stage, was the hit of the show.

There are several potential benefits for self-driving vehicles including:

  • More than 160,000 lives could be saved each year
  • 500,000 injuries could be prevented each year
  • Over $1 trillion in insurance, legal and accident costs could be saved each year
  • More than 250 billion gallons of gas and oil could be saved each year
  • Over 10% of urban land devoted to parking could be put to new use.

Even with these developments, many new issues will become important: Whether vehicle ownership is viable or not; will AI emergency driving choices be ethically correct; will there still be a need for vehicle insurance; etc. Robo-ethicists have already begun to bring these items up for discussion.

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report. After selling his business and retiring from 25+ years as computer direct marketing and materials and consulting to the Democratic National Committee and major presidential, senatorial, congressional, mayoral campaigns and initiatives all across the U.S., Canada and internationally, he has energetically pursued a new career in researching and investing in robotics. This article originally appeared on The Robot Report. The Robot Report is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

ONLINE extra

- See additional stories from The Robot Report below.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Integrated mobility; Artificial intelligence; Predictive motion control; Sensors and control system inputs; Asset Management; Cybersecurity
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me