Autonomous vehicles have been the centre of attention for quite some time, and there seems to be confusion surrounding if self-driving cars are already a reality. We’ve outlined if they are a thing of the future or if they are here now.
Shockingly, at this time, there is no such thing as a fully autonomous self-driving car. Self-driving technology is available in some vehicles, making them safer and smarter – yet they still require human intervention.
Understanding Autonomous Self-Driving Vehicles
What is an Autonomous Vehicle?
An autonomous vehicle is a car that can maneuver itself without human interaction. There are six different levels of autonomous cars, and each level demonstrates different technological advancements. To learn more about each level, read this, The Ultimate Revelation of the 6 Autonomous Vehicle Levels.
Several vehicles available today have autonomous driving features such as the 2020 Tesla Model S, 2020 Cadillac CT6, 2020 Nissan Rogue, and the 2020 BMW X7, to name just a few, however, none of them are at level 5 (meaning they are not fully autonomous).
When Will Cars Be Self-Driving?
Essentially, for driverless cars to become mainstream, technology needs to improve significantly when it comes to infrastructure. Here are some examples of what needs to happen (not limited to):
- a 5G network for real-time, high-volume data sharing
- artificially intelligent automated traffic management
- IoT (Internet of Things) enablement for roads, road signs, lanes, parking, and e-charging points.
The Impact the Pandemic Had on Autonomous Vehicles
According to automotiveworld.com, like many other industries, car manufacturers have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Many have been forced to lay off employees, and revenues have been affected; investment in new technologies like self-driving cars has been put on hold or reduced. Even Uber sold its autonomous vehicle research division.