Companies, including Google, have been experimenting with self-driving cars for a few years now — and the world is seeing some progress in this field. The Waymo vehicle has new sensors, and now experts believe that self-driving cars could be on the market within the year. Some of the benefits of self-driving vehicles include fewer accidents due to drowsy drivers, more productive customers since they could use driving time to do other things, and drivers that are more social in the vehicle since they don't have to concentrate on driving.
The Most Recent Changes
Several changes have been happening over the past several years to crossover vehicles, multi-terrain vehicles and electric vehicles. SUVs are known to be gas hogs, but with the crossover — an SUV built on a smaller car frame instead of a truck frame — allows families to have more room while reducing fuel consumption. The crossover vehicle is highly versatile in that it gives you more space than a sedan but uses less gas than a full-size SUV.
The higher-end multi-terrain vehicles are also becoming more popular because they can go where regular cars, trucks and SUVs cannot go. Like crossovers, there is a market for them as people want to travel by vehicle to the rougher parts of the country.
Hybrid and electric vehicles have also made their way into the hearts of consumers. For those who have a shorter commute, the electric vehicle is perfect. For those who want to go green, but need a vehicle with more than a few hours of driving time, the hybrid is perfect. Over the past few years, hybrids have grown more popular due to the advanced technology that is now available.
More Changes: Self-Driving Vehicles
Self-driving vehicles have been being worked on for a few years now, and each year, companies such as Google get closer to releasing a reliable vehicle. Waymo, Google's autonomous driving spinoff, now has new sensors that work with the self-driving software on its self-driving cars. The company, which became a separate entity of Google in December 2017, could sell this as a comprehensive system to automakers around the world.
Originally, Google created the self-driving software on a prototype vehicle. The software worked with cameras, sensors and other hardware. However, using third parties for these components is not cost-effective, so Google has decided to build its own sensors to add to the software, according to executives at Google.
This announcement was made just weeks after Honda decided to use Waymo's technology in some of its vehicles, though, according to Bloomberg News, Honda is centered on the research rather the actual production of self-driving vehicles. Chrysler's hybrid Pacifica minivan already uses self-driving software and hardware from Waymo. By the end of January, about 100 self-driving Pacifica models will be on the roads in Arizona and California.
John Krafcik, chief executive of Waymo, stated that in 2015, engineers had to intervene in self-driving vehicles 0.8 times every 1,000 miles. That number dropped to 0.2 times in 2016, and Krafcik expects it to be even lower this year.
Contact Concierge Auto Repair
Contact Concierge Auto Repair to make an appointment for maintenance or repairs to your vehicle, whether you drive a gas-powered, hybrid or electric vehicle, including those with automatic features such as automatic braking and lane departure warning.