Tuesday, 11 july 2017 | Redacción CEU
Apple and Google impulse with energy the development of autonomous cars. Their bet is strong and motor business companies do not want to stay still in the back seat. Everyone jumps into the race of driving without a driver. But delegating this function on the cars is a big responsibility. Are we ready for the change? How will the car industry affect this challenge? Will human beings ever drive again?
<<Do you like driving?>> This was the rhetorical question of that BMW slogan that popularized the acclaimed Mano announcement. An arm out of the car window, a moving hand, miles ahead and stimulating music. They would not even show the vehicle. The goal was to capture the feelings that can be experienced by a driver: freedom, happiness, introspection, peace,... Because, who does not like to feel the pleasure of driving? The Toni Segarra's advertisement became one of the most popular and awarded Spanish announces. Times are changing. Self-driving seems to be just around the corner and both passionate about autonomous cars, and detractors that refuse the idea of giving up driving, appear.
It is not a dream, cars drive themselves!
No distractions, no tiredness and, of course, without the human factor. The autonomous driving imitates the human ability to drive, but without reproducing its limitations. The own cars take the wheel, control and perceive their surroundings. An experience that relegates to the old need of a driver.
The fictitious future that we dreamed on films, is not fictitious anymore. Google and Apple are one step to make it true. Facing this challenge, and although these companies have announced that they will work hand in hand with the automobile industry, the automotive firms have also reacted and develop their own projects now. Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Chevrolet or Tesla work in the transition from the traditional car to the autonomous car. Meanwhile, driving becomes increasingly assisted by new technological devices that improve the interaction between people and cars.
The Google Waymo have been one of the first cars that move on an autonomous way on a highway, but to a maximum speed of 40 kilometers per hour. Although, the project has now taken an unexpected direction, the successes achieved in the design of a fully self-driving vehicle are undeniable. Apple takes its advances more discreetly but has also made public the 'famous secret' of its work on the autonomous driving. Even Amazon is joining the development of these vehicles. Their intention to carry the transport of goods via drones is very popular, but the creation of a group that works on the development of a self-driving car that can reduce the transport costs not so much.