A Driverless Future

 

A future of driverless vehicles is not as far away as we might think. We would normally associate driverless vehicles with the league of transportation reserved only for sci-fi movies, with flying cars, robot butlers and interstellar space travel. But continual and rapid advancements due to society’s consumption of and infatuation with technology have put us a step closer to an automated future.

As you may have heard, the Sydney Train Network will be implementing a “fully-automated rapid transit network” for the new North West Rail Link due to be completed in 2019. The reasons behind this include optimising the running time of trains and increasing the efficiency of the overall rail system in the area. Many are concerned with the safety of a system controlled by technology. How have authorities overcome this? With more technology! Screen doors along platforms, track-side sensors and tunnel cameras are just some of the ways these automated trains are said will match – if not beat – the safety of existing human controlled systems.

Volkswagen Group are taking the concept another step further, with the announcement of their new concept car SEDRIC. SEDRIC is the stuff dreams are made of. Practically a lounge room on wheels, the capsule has no bonnet, boot or steering wheel, making way for added extras such as sofa-like seats, a large transparent screen and even a garden for air-purifying plants. Like the driverless trains, it is also believed that the self-driving option will be safer – as well as consume less energy and be more sustainable. Plus, the concept car provides transportation for all; it is large enough for wheelchair access, efficient enough to provide room for families, and doesn’t require any of the occupants to hold a drivers license.

Now all that’s left to consider is how you would feel entrusting your safety fully into the hands of technology… at least the car wasn’t named HAL.

 

More information on either of these driverless examples can be found here and here.

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