By : Takakiyo Fujita
Suppose historical predictions are anything to go by. In that case, we should already be bypassing the morning traffic rush to work by now, comfortably zigzagging through buildings and soaring over rooftops in flying cars. And booking a car for a service should be an entirely automated process, a task left in the capable hands of machines supervised by a humanoid named John.
Let’s not forget planning family vacations to the lunar city that’s rated as the top holiday destination for the second time running – it was all over last month’s edition of “The Lunar Times”.
Have we found a substitute for human intuition in autonomous vehicles?
Despite not yet being able to tick off most of what we had envisioned in 2022, such as travel to and from work entailing take-off and landing procedures, progress towards autonomous vehicles of the future has accelerated over the years.
However, regardless of those years of progress and the promise that self-driving cars will solve some of the dangers associated with human driving, one of the biggest concerns has always been the question of how safe is safe enough.
In 2018, the state of Arizona recorded the first pedestrian death associated with self-driving technology during a self-driving vehicle test. So naturally, this prompted tech companies and automotive manufacturers to conduct in-depth research and analysis of the safety aspects of these vehicles to avoid something similar happening in the future. s
One solution was Artificial Intelligence (AI) in vehicles, which equips autonomous cars with the ability to detect what humans can’t see with the naked eye, especially at night or in low-light conditions, and react much quicker than humans can to avoid potential collisions.
AI makes vehicles less prone to crashes, more so considering that autonomous cars, unlike human drivers, are programmed to obey all the road rules without compromise, won’t speed, and can’t be distracted by a text flickering onto a phone screen.
Safer autonomous vehicles are ready to take off comfort, safety, security form the building blocks for the next era of autonomous vehicles.
This foundation, backed by years of research and advanced sensors and software, creates safer autonomous vehicles like the Vision-S 02 electric SUV, which Sony unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 (CES). The brand’s second all-electric autonomous prototype succeeds the Vision-S 01 electric sedan and packs even greater safety and comfort.
The vehicle features Sony’s ‘Safety Cocoon’ concept, which relies on 40 sensors inside and outside the car to provide a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings while simultaneously monitoring the driver’s condition in the interior.
This is just one example of how autonomous vehicles will achieve the highest safety measures possible on our roads.
The Future of Autonomous Cars report predicts that there will be 71 million self-driving cars on the roads by the year 2030.
The report also highlights the potential benefits of autonomous vehicles, stating that removing the driver is arguably the most significant and transformative innovation the automotive industry faces. If these insights are anything to go by, then autonomous vehicles can indeed pave the way for safer journeys on our roads.
* Takakiyo Fujita is the Managing Director of Sony Middle East and Africa