Self-driving cars: how do they keep us safe?By Kijiji Autos
Self-driving cars aren't just fixtures in science fiction movies set in the distant future. You may not see them passing you on the Trans-Canada highway, but they are being tested, driven and reworked by major car companies right now. It's inevitable: we'll be seeing self-driving cars on the market (relatively) soon.
Here’s how autonomous cars plan to keep you safe on the road:
Eliminating the high percentage of human error
Before fully autonomous vehicles become available to the public, they have to “”know”” how to respond in any driving situation—whether it’s a crossing pedestrian, a snow squall or the dangerous driver riding really close behind you. Drivers use their senses and skills to take themselves safely from point A to point B, but we’re not perfect. The goal of self-driving cars is to eliminate human error and therefore reduce the number of road accidents.
What are self-driving autonomy levels?
While fully autonomous self-driving cars aren’t yet available, many cars have certain levels of autonomy. On the low end, you have automatic braking and cruise control (level 1). On the high end, the car can take over in most driving situations, but not all (level 4). We are currently at level 3: drivers are still expected to take over in high-pressure situations. Here’s a quick breakdown of self-driving levels:
- Level 0: No AI control.
- Level 1: Minor AI controls like cruise control.
- Level 2: Driver alertness still required but certain functions can be controlled by AI simultaneously.
- Level 3: In certain traffic situations, the car can drive completely autonomously. However, drivers must be alert and ready to take over within seconds. At this level, AI is your co-pilot. (Check out these Tesla models featuring Autopilot).
- Level 4: The car can safely maneuver through all driving scenarios, such as city driving. There is still a cockpit and the driver is still required to sit behind the wheel, but the bulk of the driving is autonomous.
- Level 5: The car is fully autonomous. At this level, there is no cockpit and no driver.
How do self-driving cars work?
The foundation of all self-driving technology lies in three technologies that work symbiotically:
When we say connectivity, we’re talking about the car’s ability to gather important information that could influence the drive, such as traffic, road conditions, weather, maps and construction.
Many sensors are already available in new cars. Whenever you use parking assist, forward collision warning and blind-spot monitoring, your car’s sensors are engaged. Sensors in fully autonomous cars also include radar, cameras and ultrasonic technology.
Sensors are useless without the software that rapidly collects the data from the car’s sensors and connectivity to control the car’s steering, braking and accelerations. It’s the software that allows cars to be fully autonomous, which makes it the focus of tech companies at the moment.
Considering cars only became accessible a hundred years ago, we’ve come farther than perhaps Henry Ford ever thought possible.
Look out for Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving cars in the future. Level 3, or conditional automation, is within our grasp. Are you looking for a car with level 3 capabilities? Check out the Audi A8 or similar models on Kijiji Autos.
Easily find your next ride on Kijiji AutosSearch now
5 best electric cars in canada in 2021
Environmental concerns are prompting more people to consider environmentally-friendly vehicles, which include electric, plug-in hybrids and hybrids. Here, we will be focusing on electric cars in Canada, or all-electric vehicles (EVs). They are referred to as all-electric because they rely on an...
How to take care of your hybrid or electric vehicle
Hybrid and electric vehicles have proven to work wonders when it comes to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, but they still need proper care and maintenance to run properly. If you own or are considering buying an eco-friendly car, here are some ways to keep your vehicle in peak...
The basics of plug-in hybrid vehicles
As more and more people start to seriously consider their car's fuel efficiency as well as their carbon footprint, hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Honda CR-Z have become increasingly popular across Canada. But what exactly makes a plug-in hybrid so special, and why should you consider...
10 popular eco-friendly cars to consider
Are you looking to lower your carbon footprint? Eco-friendly cars, like hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles reduce emissions while helping you to save on fuel costs. However, there are a wide variety of eco-friendly vehicles on the market, so how do you narrow down your...
4 things you should know before picking your hybrid or electric car
Hybrid and electric vehicles have certainly come a long way since they first debuted on the mass market in the late 90s. If the time has finally come for you to buy a hybrid or e-car that suits your lifestyle, here are some things to consider before going for a test drive. 1. Know the difference...
How fuel-efficient is your car?
When it comes to saving money on your car, the number one thing to look at is fuel economy. The more you drive, the more important it is for your vehicle to use the fuel it has efficiently. A small difference in gas mileage can result in hundreds of dollars spent or saved over the course of a...
The future of vehicles is electric
In Canada, electric cars, such as the BMW i3 and Honda Insight, are quickly becoming a popular choice for commuters. Drivers of electric cars can reap a number of benefits, ranging from superior fuel efficiency to improved safety features. Your well-being remains our top priority. Please...
Plug-in hybrids: How do they work and are they right for you?
The market for electric and hybrid cars is getting bigger every year in Canada. In 2019, there were over 50 fully electric (BEV, for "battery electric vehicle") or plug-in hybrid (PHEV, for "plug-in hybrid electric vehicle") options available. With so many choices on the market, more people are...
How exactly do electric and hybrid cars work?
You might think they're new, avant-garde technology, but electric-powered vehicles are older than the regular petrol-powered car. Back in 1884, Britain's Thomas Parker built his first electric car prototype using batteries of his own design, predating Benz' Patent-Motorwage—the world's first...
What’s the difference between a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an all-electric vehicle?
With the constant fluctuation in gas prices, a lot of people are starting to consider hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric cars. Let’s take a look at these technologies and whether they might be suited to your day-to-day driving needs. What is a hybrid car? The technology involved in a...