How Close Are We to Driverless Cars

When we think of the far-off future, many of us envision a Jetsons-type scene, the most striking element being a flurry of flying cars buzzing around. And while flying cars may not be on the horizon just yet, there’s no doubt that the automotive industry is advancing at a rapid pace.

Recent tech advancements that allow vehicles to brake, accelerate, or steer when an emergency is detected have many of us wondering, how close are we really from driverless cars?

If you’re an inquisitive auto fan, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to review what we know and what we can expect for the near auto future, brought to you by Automotive Training Center.

Defining DriverlessTesla Model X

I think we all have a good idea of what driverless really means, but in the context of releasing a vehicle that’s wise beyond its eons, a distinction needs to be made. A Business Insider report on self-driving cars refers to two types of future cars: semi-autonomous and fully autonomous. Semi-autonomous vehicles are those we referred to above that have smart safety features, and as we know, are already on the road.

The report further divides fully autonomous vehicles into user-operated versions and truly driverless vehicles. As semi-autonomous vehicles start bringing in more car tech with intellect, we’ll be closer to the first fully autonomous vehicle tier (though this will still involve minimal user input). These vehicles will debut as soon as 2020 with numerous big names (e.g., Ford, Tesla, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz) populating the roads with their ultra-smart chauffeurs.

The Implications of Truly Driverless Cars

Truly driverless cars, the fully autonomous second-tier kind, will take a bit longer to come to fruition. Still, what’s a while? Probably not as far off as you’d think. Potentially, five or 10 years after that initial burst of tier 1 autonomous vehicles are released, a 100% driverless car will be in our midst.

This amazing technological feat will mean a number of things, one of the most notable being far safer roads, with a considerably lower accident rate across categories from weather-related to behavior-related incidents.

A report from Mobility Lab mentions that Uber anticipates converting to a driverless car fleet by 2030, which will really shake up the transportation game.

What Does This Mean for Prospective Auto Technicians?

We thought you might want to know that. In function, perfection may be nigh with these types of systems, but maintenance will be a greater concern for drivers of driverless cars. Individuals who can understand these complex programs are in high demand now and will become even more valuable as the common ground between what’s going on under the hood and what’s happening at the wheel shrinks away from view.

If being under the hood—or whatever they’ll call it then—is where you could see yourself a few years from now, reach out to Automotive Training Center to find out more about how an automotive education can help you be prepared for a career in the field.


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