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5 things we already know about autonomous vehicles

5 things we already know about autonomous vehicles

Saturday, 7 de October de 2017

Cars that drive by themselves are already among us. Here are the certainties, forecasts and trends for this future which is already accelerating

The future has arrived. Within the next four years, cars without a driver will be part of the normal traffic in some cities around the world- and your city might just be one of them. The FCA has just joined the partnership between BMW, Intel and Mobileye for the development of autonomous steering technology for that period. The companies are working on the creation of an international platform designed to be adopted by all automakers that accept the invitation.

The cooperation is a solution that allows companies to share the (high) costs and benefits of the development of this technology, taking advantage of the strengths of each company, in addition to accelerating the development, as stated by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne: “In order make advances in autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships between car manufacturers and to provide the technology.

The partnership began in July of last year with the merger between BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye, an Israeli company founded for the development of autonomous steering technology and later acquired by Intel. FCA now joins the group, which already has an alliance with Waymo (a company created by Google) which has placed several autonomous Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans on the streets.

Because we are dealing with innovative technology, there is much speculation and tendencies. However, there are many certainties as well. We have selected five of them to prepare you for the world of autonomous cars:

1. They are already among us!

You know that technology companies like Google and Uber have already placed autonomous cars on the streets, right? Google’s project has acquired autonomy and is now it’s its own company: Waymo. Its new autonomous vehicle is the hybrid minivan Chrysler Pacifica. In association with FCA, Waymo put 100 Pacificas on the streets, as seen in the photo. And in April 500 more units were ordered. Today, there are more Pacificas circulating than any other autonomous vehicle in the world.

2. Within the next 4 years FCA will also be producing autonomous cars

The Chrysler Pacifica does not leave the factory driving by itself – No pun intended! It’s Waymo who makes the adaptations for their autonomy. But stay tuned because within the next four years, the FCA will be producing autonomous cars too. The company has joined the alliance of BMW and Intel to produce an autonomous steering platform that can be used by any assembly plant who accepts the invitation to join the project.

3. By 2030 one in ten cars in Europe will be autonomous

Analysts predict that around 10-15% of cars in Europe will be autonomous by 2030. This projection was also cited by Stephan Ketter, president of the FCA in Latin America. Initially, cars that are driven autonomously should start to circulate as taxis and the like. By 2030, the market for autonomous taxis is expected to reach 2 trillion dollars!

4. Sorry, but independent cars drive better than you

Despite the fear in most drivers (especially veterans and those who drive for pleasure), self-steering technologies are already capable of driving better than a human being. After rolling over 3 million kilometers with their vehicles, Waymo only recorded one small accident that was “blamed” on one of the first Google cars, still in testing phase. The statistic, along with expert analysis, proves that the system drives 10 times better than the best human drivers, and about 40 times better than drivers with recent drivers license. The numbers are so good that experts already speak of thousands of deaths avoided on the roads every year with the progressive adoption of this technology, which, eventhough it consumes gasoline, it doesn’t get drunk!

5. Surely you will have one of them

As you have read, the first autonomous car that will drive you around will be a transportation company. But don’t despair because it won’t take long for you to have your own car that will chauffeur you around while you read the newspaper or take a nap. This is according to FCA executive director, Sergio Marchionne. As long as the technology is accepted, the cost will also be affordable for most consumers, “at a reasonable price“. Your car will even be able to pick up the kids at school for you, right? 😉

More on the partnership between FCA, BMW, Intel and Mobileye:

BMW and Intel had already announced a schedule to market highly automated (level 3) and fully automated driving solutions (levels 4 and 5) by 2021. The union with FCA maintains this timeframe (and the hashtag is: #futureofdriving2021). “With FCA as our new partner, we have strengthened the way to successfully create the most relevant and advanced solution from level 3 to 5 as a result of global collaboration among automakers,” said BMW AG President Harald Krüger. “We are very pleased to welcome FCA to this collaboration, taking a step closer to delivering the world’s most secure autonomous vehicles,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

By the end of this year, 40 autonomous test vehicles will be placed on the streets, in addition to another fleet of 100 level 4 vehicles announced by Mobileye. According to the classification of SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), level 3 vehicles are already capable of driving by themselves (with the presence of a human driver who can intervene, if necessary), while level 4 vehicles will be seen on the roads even without human intervention. Level 5 vehicles manage to drive themselves on any type of road and weather condition. “The combination of knowledge and mapping, sensor fusion and policy management solutions offers the highest levels of safety and versatility in a low-cost package that will extend across all geographies and road configurations,” said professor Amnon Shashua, Executive Director and Technology of Mobileye.

The partners were keen to announce that the invitation remains standing and extends to other automakers who wish to join them in this endeavor “in an effort to create a solution for the entire industry.”

 

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