Self-Driving Cars

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  • Topic: Driverless car, Intelligent transportation system
  • Pages : 11 (3778 words )
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  • Published : April 5, 2013
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James Fitzgerald
College of Saint Joseph
English Composition
Research Paper

Self-driving Cars and Vehicular Networking
This paper will present information about self-driving cars and smart transportation systems. The technological barriers, security concerns and privacy issues concerning the implementation of these new systems will be addressed. The impact they will have on society, business, and government will be explored. Supporting data from research papers, news articles, and industry reports will be presented. The technology will be adopted because it will provide travelers with a safe, reliable, and convenient form of transportation. It will save people time and money and it will save thousand of lives every year. The measured evolution and introduction of self-driving cars and smart transportation infrastructure is important so it can allow business, consumers, and governments to adjust to the change in the way people and goods are transported. The development of the self-driving car has been in the works for some time and is just the latest in a long history of automotive innovation. Over the years, automakers have introduced many new automotive technologies that have made driving safer and more convenient. Automakers will continue to develop new technologies that offer increased safety and convenience. One of the newest technologies that exist today include a system that keeps a car in the lane and warns the driver when they are veering out of the lane. There is also an advanced cruise control system that matches a car’s speed with the vehicle in front of it. Another system alerts the driver if there are obstacles near them when they are backing up. And there is also a system that parallel parks a car by itself. (Silberg, Wallace, 7) Many leading universities, the automotive industry, and a number of tech companies are involved in the research and development of safety systems, convenience features, and self-driving technologies. Some of the universities include, MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and Columbia. The tech giants Google and Intel are also involved in developing new systems. The work these organizations and universities are doing will change the transportation industry forever. (Silberg, Wallace, 8) Recently, Intel launched a $100 million Connected Car Fund because, says Mark Lydon, director at Intel Capital, “Intel is looking to apply its expertise in consumer electronics and systems intelligence to the development of smarter vehicle technologies... The Connected Car Fund was created to further this vision and spur greater innovation, integration, and collaboration across the automotive technology ecosystem.” (qtd in Silberg, Wallace, 24) “In the next 5 to 15 years, driving one's own car will start to disappear. The technology is on hand to let the car drive itself,” (qtd in Folsom, 2) These two quotes from industry experts confirms that they are optimistic about the future of transportation. One of them estimates a timeline for the introduction of fully autonomous self-driving cars. Research and development has already moved out of the labs and onto the roads, and Google has led the way. Google began testing self-driving cars in 2009. Sebastian Thrun was the lead scientist working for Google, and had previously researched similar technologies with faculty at Stanford University. (Efrati, 1) In 2012, the Huffington Post reported that Google’s fleet of self-driving cars had driven 300,000 miles collectively. (Murray, 1) The article supports the fact that extensive real world testing has begun. Google is not alone in the development of self-driving cars. Many other companies in the automotive industry have also created similar self-driving car technologies. They have a number of new applications in the development and testing phase. One company already has a system that notifies the driver of road hazards, and another has a system that acts like an auto-pilot. Cadillac is developing a system that...
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