Technologies have long been incorporated into the automotive industry. Our cars are now a lot different from the cars that our grandparents used to drive. These technologies are much smarter, safer and affordable. And they save lives.
Artificial intelligence can do many things for us. For instance, it can apply the brake before hitting a child suddenly crossing the road, or it can tell us that a big truck is approaching at 100kmph on the “blind” spot. A.I. is designed to be our co-driver or a guardian angel that watches over us and stop us from getting into trouble. After all, we all need a guardian angel. Or so they say.
AI and Driverless Cars
The current trend in the automotive industry is heading towards a more sophisticated artificial intelligence in vehicles: self driving cars. Big car companies like Toyota, have invested $100 million into R&D in the autonomous car. However, Toyota wants to leverage the same artificial intelligence and advanced sensors that self-driving cars rely on for a system it calls “Guardian” to achieve something equally remarkable: Cars that can’t crash. Toyota isn’t saying exactly when this next-generation feature will be available for its Lexus line, top-selling Camrys and other Toyota models, though elements of may start showing up as part of planned enhancements coming within a couple of years.
Toyota isn’t the first or only carmaker with a goal of crash-free vehicles. Volvo promotes a similar vision and Waymo, the Alphabet Inc. spinoff that was formerly Google’s Self-Driving Car project, cites safety as central to its pursuit of driverless technology.
With over 35,000 motor vehicle deaths in the US alone in 2015, it is only natural that we seek for a safer, more efficient and precise driving unit. A future without car accidents sounds utopian, but that does not stop engineers at big car companies from pursuing this dream.
Can you imagine a not-so-distant reality where drivers won’t worry about getting into a car crash? What other engineering challenges might this situation bring?