Smart cars have always been a dream of tech
fans around the world, dating back to the 80’s.
When car companies brought forth their own driveable smart cars they
were smaller in size and completely operated through electricity. Google has now taken it a step further with
the use of their driverless smart cars.
They are a new invention and were revealed last May. They are now set to take the streets for
They Really Driverless?
The premise of Google’s smart cars is to
make them entirely driverless though when they first hit the streets, there
will be safety drivers in each of them to make sure that the car operates like
it should. The safety driver won’t be
operating the vehicle but they will be able to access the steering wheel in the
event of an emergency.
Features of Smart Cars
The whole premise of a smart car is to give
it something that no other vehicle has and to make sure that it is more
technologically advanced than other models on the market. There is still a lot of room for growth with
smart cars and there are many features that drivers would like to see.
Eliminating the Steering and Pedals: One
of the concepts that Google brought to the table in May of 2014 was to
eliminate the need for steering wheels and pedals as the car would fully
operate on its own. They began testing
the cars without these features at the beginning of 2015.
Range Finders: The main purpose of the
rage finder is to give the car an idea of where it is and where it needs to
go. With the Google smart cars they are
mounted to the roof of the vehicle. The
laser in the Velodyne 64-beam laser is designed to create a detailed 3D map of
the vehicle’s environment. They can then
produce different models to help navigate themselves.
Safety Modes: Since a self-driving car
is a new concept, the Google smart cars are essentially equipped with an “extra
cautious” mode. This could either be
seen as a beneficial safety feature or a limitation to the vehicle as it will
make the car drive slower in areas that have yet to be mapped by the
vehicle. By driving slower, the car is
able to easily identify traffic lights, light debris, and other objects in the