While autonomous and connected vehicles have opened a whole new world of opportunities, there are many concerns that need to be addressed before the automobile industry launches a fully functional and tested autonomous vehicle.
What is smart about being late for your meeting or missing your flight because you were grappling with traffic, or even worse, your car crashed with another because the other driver was drunk or texting? Despite the ease to connect with anyone, anywhere at any time, people across the globe are confronting similar set of primitive concerns. But thanks to new technologies and innovative engineering methods, intelligent connectivity is reshaping the future of urban mobility landscape and paving way for smart mobility that not only makes mobility convenient and safer, but comes with infinitely better experiences and a near zero environmental impact.
However, smart mobility’s ambition cannot be merely narrowed down to healing the wounds of the current situation. The need for such smart mobility solutions is amplified and continues to become more densely populated. Naturally fully autonomous and connected vehicles outfitted with myriad of sensors, play a major role. These cars will not only function by connecting to other cars, devices, people and infrastructure but also understand the complex environment and navigate through traffic signals, busy streets, locate vacant parking slots and even detect an approaching ambulance by pinpointing the location of siren that can otherwise, only be heard. As these vehicles take control, perfect the craft of driving, make calculated decisions and interact with the urban environment to heights unprecedented for a human, they boast of the potential to be the most robust innovation in the history of mobility.
Acting as an intersection between physical and digital world, these fully connected driverless vehicles tap on uncharted synergies between machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics and automotive design. Further, as these vehicles draw together sustainable mobility solutions with existing infrastructure, they are creating a paradigm shift from product orientation, which caters to the needs and convenience of vehicles rather than human beings, to service orientation.
While autonomous and connected vehicles have opened a whole new world of opportunities, there are many concerns that need to be addressed before the automobile industry launches a fully functional and tested autonomous vehicle. Though there are several unanswered questions around regulation, legislation, economic challenges and liability in case of an accident, infrastructure upgradation that will ensure autonomous vehicles drive safely may create expensive barriers. Furthermore, as these vehicles go mainstream, every car will generate nearly 1 Gigabyte data every second. Such massive data analytics require a more diverse ecosystem for vehicles to seamlessly tap into a larger network and communicate with one another.
Having said that, with the right infrastructure and Government support, autonomous vehicles can change the face of Indian mobility. Considering that nearly 1.5 lakh people were killed in road accidents in India in 2017, autonomous vehicles can eliminate such chances of human error. Additionally, this technology will offer mobility to disabled and old people, who have difficulties driving, besides increasing fuel efficiency and consequently, reducing vehicular CO2 emissions.
Evident enough, if there is a Rockstar in these new technologies and approaches for mobility, it is most assuredly the autonomous vehicle.
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