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Autonomous Cars Will Replace the Human Drivers Within One Generation

IHS Automotive has released a study claiming that autonomous cars will over-take our roadways and replace the human driver forever.

Full autonomous cars, without a human at the wheel or manipulating the pedals will be a reality by 2030; leading into the “bulk of automotive sales” being autonomous vehicles.

This is tantamount to 54 million self-driving cars (SDC) on the road within 2 decades. Egil Julissen, principal analyst for infotainment and autonomous driver-assisted systems at HIS, explained:

“One of the biggest incentives for self-driving cars is safety. Accident rates will plunge to near zero for SDCs. As the market share of SDCs on the highway grows, overall accident rates will decline steadily.”

By 2024, SDC will account for 9.2% of global sales with the North American continent expected to take in 29% of that percentage.

China and Europe would follow in line behind the US. HIS explains that in 2035 sales would begin to balance out and wane as the societal norm becomes an autonomous automotive industry.

In 2020, SDC could be used safely. Current technology is expected to advance as is dictated by Moore’s law. SDCs will be energy efficient, expel less carbon and contribute to the decline of air pollution worldwide.

The study explains that automated driving will be implemented in luxury cars first to test the viability of the technology.

This feature would cost as an upgrade an estimated $7,000 to $10,000. As lower-end vehicles are produced, the technology will be built into those cars over a longer period of time.

The lowered cost for average customers would run about $3,000 to $5,000. Because SDCs would necessitate access and communications on a wireless network, they would be subject to hackers and require cybersecurity measures for protection.

The study acknowledges: “There is no question that electronics of the car will become a target for malicious hacking attacks. Every auto manufacturer needs to take cyber security seriously — which has not been a focus in the past.”

In July of last year, Hackers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller demonstrated from the backseat of a Toyota Prius that all you need is a Macbook and a USB cable in order to hack into a computer-controlled car.

These two security researchers showed that they can turn off the breaks, for example, even if the driver is at the helm.

Using a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Miller and Valasek have been researching computerized car vulnerabilities since 2012.

Miller asserted that they “had full control of braking” and that they “disengaged the brakes so if you were going slow and tried to press the brakes they wouldn’t work. We could turn the headlamps on and off, honk the horn. We had control of many aspects of the automobile.”

Ford Corporation has released a new Fusion Hybrid that is more autonomously automatized out of visualizations for a future of driverless cars.

Under the Blueprint for Mobility (BFM), by 2050 “75 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in cities, with 50 of those cities projected to have more than 10 million residents.”

The vision Ford wants to introduce involved a blend of “smart transportation with intelligent vehicles and transport systems… [where] private car, commercial and public transportation are all connected in ways that save time, conserve resources, lower emissions and improve safety.”

Both the University of Michigan and State Farm have collaborated with Ford to develop this prototype that has “four LiDAR sensors (Light Detection And Ranging) that scan the road 2.5 million times per second. Infrared light bounces off anything within a 200 feet radius, generating a 3D map of the car’s surrounding environment.”

This technology enables the car to “drive itself and ensures it doesn’t hit anything. Even at maximum range, the sensors can detect the difference between a paper bag and small animal, as well as observing and classifying pedestrians, cyclists and stationary objects.”

The 2012 Design Challenge competition in Los Angeles displayed futuristic drone cars that could be used by law enforcement replacing current highway patrol cars by 2025.

In fact, all the designers who attended the auto show competition (BMW, Honda, Subaru and General Motors) produced drones technology in a conceptual form where autonomously controlled vehicles would “empower highway patrol officers to meet new demands and effectively both ‘protect and serve’ the public while considering not just enforcement needs but emission concerns, population growth and transportation infrastructure.”

  • The Honda created the CHP Drone Squad consisting in four-wheeled Auto-Drones and motorcycle Moto-Drones.
  • BMW’s ePatrol combined human and drone to work in tandem.
  • The Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept (SHARC) uses renewable energy and has aquatic capabilities.
  • GM Volt Squad utilizes a propulsion system and carries a human officer to “observe, pursue or engage”.
  • Mercedes-Benz’s Ener-G-Force is electronically motored, traffic controller that changes when exposed to human behavior.

Researchers at the University of North Dakota (UND) conducted a study in September to justify the increasing use of drones in local police departments.

In collaboration with the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department, and funded by drone manufactures, the UND approached the compromised study in favor of proving that it would be in the best interest of law enforcement to develop “operating concept for police departments”.

By Susanne Posel, Occupy Corporatism;

About author: Susanne Posel is a globally syndicated independent journalist. In November 2011, she launched Occupy Corporatism, a headline news website that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited websites on the Internet.