28th May 2020

12-month recap: Self-Driving Cars


In the last of our #MinistryOfTechnocracy 12-month recap mini-series, we take a look at how self-driving cars could potentially revolutionise the way we travel despite initial safety fears.

12 months ago, BBC Click investigated the 'hardest problem in technology and one that could change everything’ - the revolution of self-driving cars.

Self-driving cars use A.I with camera, GPS, Radar and Lidar technologies to move safely with no human contact.

Tom Hadfield Account Manager

Self-Driving Cars

Since 2015, Arizona has been at the epicentre of the development of self-driving vehicles. Leading the way is Google’s subsidiary Waymo who, as of last year, had clocked up millions of test miles without safety drivers behind the wheel.

The technology has split the community with some welcoming the future of an accident free road network and other reports of pedestrians and other road users attacking the self-driving cars whilst in operation.

Click reported that ‘the fears of the community had become a reality’ when a cyclist was involved in a fatal accident with a self-driving vehicle. The Uber vehicle failed to detect a cyclist crossing a road at night and that the safety driver had failed to hit the brakes as they were streaming a video on their phone at the time of the accident.

Fast forward 12 months, we are still in the early stages of 5G. We are several years away from fully advanced 5G millimetre wave technology which will help the industry through improved automation and visibility of the roads around them. As we see our world connected by 5G we expect to see more advancements in these type of AI technologies.

The recent pandemic is seen by some to be a speed bump in the road to a fully self-driven future, where some have seen an opportunity to use these technologies in our fight against the virus. Chinese company Neolix has seen a 700% increase in the orders of their self-driving vans which have been put on their roads to deliver food and medical supplies, as well as disinfecting streets in some of their worst hit Covid-19 areas.

There you have it, over the past few weeks we have covering everything from the commercial use of drones and technology Vs pollution to security and facial recognition plus much more.

The question remains, where could we be in another 12 months time?

Until next time…

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