Watson could be driving your car soon

The next big thing in the automotive industry is getting ever closer to widespread commercial use, and the biggest car and technology companies are already hard at work competing for the best experience to provide for consumers.

To err has always been human, and that can be a big issue when it comes to driving. Reflexes don’t always work as quickly as they need to. Observation can be lacking, and perception can be tricked and skewed. People get plagued with distractions and loss of focus. But computers don’t have those problems as long as they’re programmed and equipped with the technology they need to run safely and effectively. And the technology is getting there from many different developers working on it.

Computerized cars that drive themselves are coming, and they’re coming in faster than we think.

 

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Advanced Sensors and AI Technology

It isn’t just the car companies that will make this leap into street legal autonomous cars. They’ve relied on a full century of human drivers and to slide into a transition like this takes a new kind of technology that they haven’t worked with before. The optical, lidar, and radar sensors that a car would use to know where it’s going, see where it’s going, and react to its surroundings need to combine with an Artificial Intelligence ready to drive forward in the automotive world. Many different technology companies have been developing and mastering these kinds of tasks, and when it comes to integrating them into cars that will soon be available to the public, everyone wants in on the action.

Car Companies Meet Tech Companies

Over the last hundred years, the biggest car companies have emerged and dominated, making their names known in the industry. But as this industry grows, they’ve got to grow with it and that means looking into the companies working on expanding the tech needed to make autonomous cars not only possible but a widely accepted reality.

Intel, a company known everywhere for its part in running processing power of many personal computers, has just bought a company known as Mobileye to get into the market of cars. Together they’re planning a partnership with BMW line of vehicles. This isn’t a bandwagon that anyone wants to miss. Popular companies like General Motors and Ford have partnered with smaller technology businesses in the hope to build the tech together with their vehicles from the get-go—General Motors working with Cruise Automation, and Ford teaming up with Argo AI.
With the rise of companies building themselves around ride-hailing services, the idea of automated cars for such a task is a match made in heaven. The ease for a consumer to summon a driverless cab whenever they need is too much to pass up for companies like Volvo and Volkswagen working with companies like Uber and Gett respectively. Along with working with Cruise Automation, General Motors is working to team up with the ride-summoning service, Lyft. While Google continues work on its own automated vehicle technology, they’ve found a manufacturing company in Chrysler to further the work they’re doing.

Future Car

The Competitive Future

No one wants to be left behind when it comes to the race into the technology of the future. All of these companies are going to be fighting for the best way to make self-driving cars an achievable reality for consumers. The biggest aspects to be considered will be safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness. Whichever company and team of companies will be able to master these attributes the best will be the ones to shoot ahead in the race of innovation. It will be a new playing field for the auto industry, and the big names in cars will have work with the best advancements in technology to make themselves stand out.

Time will tell how the race develops and who will come out ahead of the others. The speed in which technology changes — as seen in all-flash storage capabilities — and builds on itself makes it anyone’s game. But consumers looking forward to getting into their own self-driving car to be chauffeured around at the tap of a few buttons will certainly be having a lot to look forward to in the upcoming years

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Rick Delgado

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