Category Artificial Intelligence
AI and autonomous vehicles AI and autonomous vehicles are meant to make roads safer and travel comfortable. But is that actually happening?

Humanity’s attempts to build self-driving vehicles have been through many stages. From Leonardo Da Vinci’s driverless cart to Tesla’s driverless cars, the journey has been long. But in the 21st century, it has already started showing its rewards in the form of Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), AI-assisted manufacturing, AI-assisted shipments, and more.

AI and Autonomous Vehicles

AI and autonomous vehicles are witnessing a peak in their popularity thanks to the brilliant and life-saving features they are capable of delivering. For instance, using sensors and technical features under ADAS improve car safety and reduces the probability of human errors.

Unplugged time travel- The era before combining AI and autonomous vehicles

AI in autonomous vehicles became a thing in the latest 20th century. However, there were many development stages before it. As mentioned above, Leonardo Da Vinci is credited with building the first driverless vehicle- a cart that did not need pushing or pulling to move. 

AI in autonomous vehicles

The 20th century 

During the early 19th century, Leonardo Torres-Quevedo constructed the very first unmanned vehicle in 1904, a tricycle that could be controlled by a remote. In 1925, however, built the first infamous autonomous automobile. 

The vehicle was equipped with transmitting antennas that would receive radio signals and help the controller influence vehicle’s speed and direction by using small electric motors fit in the vehicle.

In 1961, the very basic friction of AI in autonomous vehicles was made possible by research involved in the famous Moon Landing. James, a member of the mission, built a vehicle with a camera that was programmed to detect and follow a line. 

Japanese improved this invention in 1977 and tested the very first self-driving passenger car with a speed going up to 20 miles per hour.

By the late 19th century, more inventions to combine artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles were being noticed. These efforts included projects by Carnegie Mellon researchers as well. 

These researchers drove their self-driven car between Pittsburgh and San Diego covering a distance of 2,797 miles. However, the car’s speed and braking were controlled by researchers.

The 21st century

In the 21st century, the development of autonomous vehicles grabbed momentum and more than ever researchers around the world started working on Combining AI and autonomous vehicles. 

By 2010 popular car manufacturers like BMW, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz got alongside some popular organizations like the US Department of Defense’s Research Arm. The development of autonomous vehicles powered by AI is not only targeted to make passenger vehicles safer but to also streamline the usage of enterprise vehicles. 

The development hierarchy of AI in autonomous driving

A report by ResearchandMarkets suggests that by the end of 2022, the global estimated market value of autonomous vehicles was $58.5 billion. So, the above autonomous car development data by McKinsey & Company for 2035 predicts a rapid boom coming into the industry. 

This booming popularity of technology is credited to different stages of the development of self-driving cars!

AI autonomous vehicles

Level 0- No automation

As the name suggests, this stage in the history of autonomous car technology means there is no involvement of AI technology in the vehicle. You simply use your own driving skills and senses to steer the vehicle.

Level 1- Driver Assistance

At this stage, autonomous vehicle companies have started using some benefits of driverless cars. However, the control remains with the human driver. At this stage, the system can assist the driver with the speed and steering of the vehicle. Active Cruise Control (ACC) and Parking Sensors are commonly found in modern cars and have become popular due to their features. 

Level 2- Partial Automation

The number of assisted features offered by the system increases at this stage. The ADAS system installed in vehicles helps avoid possible collisions by controlling the steering and braking system. Humans still remain in control and are responsible for staying aware of the environment.

Level 3- Conditional Automation

Here the self-driving cars’ AI takes over the car control system. However, human drivers can still intervene and respond if required.

Level 4- High Automation

This is the stage where if humans fail to intervene, the system will still be able to keep the vehicle safe. Here AI autonomous vehicles take control of the steering wheel, speed, and even environment monitoring.

Level 5- Full Automation

Driverless cars are a reality at this point. These cars do not require human assistance. Instead, the AI system of the car can drive independently even in unrestricted areas and dynamic weather conditions. The automated driving system keeps scanning the environment and ensures safer rides.

How will driverless cars change the world for the better?

The deployment of fully-autonomous vehicles in the urban transportation infrastructure can be a topic of debate but it is also true, the modern world has started using AI in vehicles massively. There are several reasons for this and the increasing support for fully-autonomous vehicles that we are witnessing.

1. Safer driving

-Elon Musk

One of the major factors why self-driving cars’ development is witnessing a boom is to make roads safer for everyone. A report by Victoria Transport Policy Institute (VTPI) suggests that 90% of road accidents happen due to human errors. 

Health-related incidents, sleepy drivers, rash driving, and other such factors contribute to many avoidable collisions. The development of self-driving cars is happening to reduce the probability of these incidents. The above statement by the owner of one of the top artificial intelligence companies, Tesla displays the reliability of pioneer tech tycoons have on the technology.

2. Reduced maintenance costs

When there are fewer accidents, even minor ones, there are fewer maintenance expenses as well. Not only that, but self-driving cars with AI are also capable of keeping vehicle hardware healthy for a longer tenure by driving vehicles strategically and safely. Automated driving can also save car owners from traffic violations and fines which often occur due to human errors.

3. More comfort for passengers

A self-driving car using AI can be a comfortable travel companion as well. Passengers can have the opportunity to rest while driving is taken care of by the car’s system. For long trips, work trips, and on other occasions where the driver doesn’t want to drive, such benefits of driverless cars are very handy.

4. Smoother traffic and fewer traffic jams

AI in autonomous driving is capable of deploying a more sophisticated traffic system if supported by the right infrastructure. Autonomous vehicles are supposed to drive strategically, and if the majority of vehicles deployed on a road are autonomous, it can make the traffic smoother. 

5. Reduced energy consumption

The autonomous car development also takes the energy-saving factor into consideration to make these vehicles more eco-friendly. Strategically driven vehicles thanks to AI will consume less fuel and provide a healthier environment. Autonomous car technology is also considered a solution to pollution problems as well.

Statistics of AI and autonomous vehicles

Different reports have different predictions of the AI market. However, the similarity is all of these reports predict a massive boom in the popularity of autonomous vehicles in the future. 

The evidence is that governments like China, the USA, and Canada along with some European countries are already planning and regulating the infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles in the future. 

Apart from that, these are some stats that provide an insight into the future of autonomous vehicles

  • A McKinsey report states the ADAS and the autonomous driving market are expected to reach a threshold of $55 to $80 billion by 2030
  • A report by RAND Corporation says that autonomous vehicles are able to deliver a fuel economy of 4 to 10%
  • A Statista report shows, by 2030, Level 4 autonomous vehicles are expected to penetrate 5% of the global market

The future of AI in autonomous vehicles

A McKinsey report says that by 2030, 12% of vehicles sold will be equipped with at least Level 3 AI systems. On the other hand, by 2035, 35% of vehicles are expected to be equipped with AD technologies. Now, artificial intelligence in automotive industry operations is not only beneficial for vehicle manufacturers or passengers only but also for the best car apps like Uber.

The Level 5 autonomous car technology will eliminate the need for human drivers and help these organizations achieve better revenues while reducing their operating costs. There will be lesser traffic violations, lower accident rates, and fewer expenses on employee benefits. So, on the one hand, the possibilities of AI and autonomous vehicles will be endless in the near future, there will also be some consequences around which the world will have to learn to adjust.

Sakshi Kaushik

By Sakshi Kaushik LinkedIn Icon

A passionate writer and tech lover, she strives to share her expertise with mobile app developers and fellow tech enthusiasts. During her moments away from the keyboard, she relishes delving into thriller narratives, immersing herself in diverse realms.

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