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Would you like to be chauffeured around and help the environment at the same time? This can one day be possible with autonomous cars. There have been partially autonomous cars that have been sold like vehicles that can parallel park themselves. Recently, automotive companies have released cars that alert you of obstacles and help you maintain your lane. So, the release of fully automated cars will change the future by reducing pollution, making travel quieter, and making travel safer.Once the public embraces the idea of autonomous cars and supports the automakers who are developing this technology, the future will be closer to a cleaner environment which might help reduce global warming. The cars will have gadgets that require electricity instead of fuel. This transition would completely eliminate harmful fuel emissions.  The cars will be run with bigger batteries that have higher voltage. Since the cars will be powered like this, gas stations are starting to build electric car chargers. The only problem with it is that it takes longer to charge electric cars than it does to fill a regular car with fuel. This is why it would be a good idea to charge your car during the night. Automakers are working on ways to make the batteries be able to hold more power so people can travel farther places.Not only can automated cars reduce pollution by using electric engines, but they are also much quieter. This is due to the fact that the cars are powered by batteries only. Cars powered by fuel use injectors to inject fuel into the engine which is lit by a spark that creates a mini explosion, making the piston move to power the car. The process creates a sound that is louder than a battery sending electrical waves through different wires to power all the electronic devices in an electrical car. Obviously electric cars aren’t completely silent because of the sound of the friction between the tires and the road and other things besides the engine. These cars will be equipped with computer systems that can create and maintain an internal map like radar. This will help passengers of automated cars travel safer. The computer system will get information from 64 different laser sensors placed on the cars. These 64 laser sensors are able to scan the road and see where the lines are and then relays information to the main computer. The software inside the main computer processes inputs, plots a path, and sends instructions to the vehicle.Now imagine you’re driving and need to make a detour for lunch or something else important on a long drive. Well with the software, you’re able to input new information into the maps while the car is moving. It will then adjust its route according to the information you put into the computer (liebenberg, 2017). Although this process sounds like it takes a long time, it actually doesn’t. This technology is actually able to react faster than humans and make sure that the car doesn’t run off the road or swerve into the opposite lane and crash. Sometimes, since these lasers have a small chance of malfunctioning in the early stages of its development, if you get one of the earlier released cars, you might need to stay awake in case you need to take over.Another technology is the sensors around the car. They tell the car where other cars or obstacles are. For instance, if you’re not paying attention and a car stops in front of you suddenly for some reason the sensors will warn you and automatically brake if you don’t react fast enough. They also help you parallel park by scanning for the cars you’re parking between and the curb and turns the wheels according to the amount of room you have. This is helpful because you aren’t able to see some of the things that the sensors can. They also have sensors in the backup cameras that do the same thing as the sensors that stop the car if another car stops in front of you. The only difference is that the backup camera sensors alert you of children or things behind you that can’t be seen.The other part of the sensors is that they have the rules of the road programed into them. So if you’re traveling and come to a stop sign they will tell the car to stop. The car sensors see each and every sign that you pass along the road. The computer analyzes the data from the sensors and the car responds accordingly. At this point, autonomous cars aren’t able to do everything a human driver can. An example would be that they won’t be able to pass anyone unless you command it to because the sensors aren’t able to see around the vehicle in front of you to search for oncoming traffic. This means that if you are following someone slow you can take control in order to pass them and reset the system once you have completed your pass or if you trust the car enough you can tell it to pass at a certain moment. This is only needed for two lane road or a dirt road though.The automakers have also broken down automation into six different levels. Level zero obviously is when the car relies completely on the driver but there are still features that warn the driver to take action. Level one is assisted driving technologies like cruise control, auto braking systems, or lane maintaining systems. Level two is when the car can steer, brake, and accelerate on its own but only for so long. It can go longer on its own but only if you’re lightly touching the steering wheel. Level two is what we currently have in 2017. Level three is real automation but companies are going to skip level three and go straight to level four. Level four allows the driver to be a passenger unless storms block the cameras’ view. Level five is when the car is fully autonomous so seeing driver controls in a level five car would be very unlikely (Howard,2017). Although these cars seem cool they might not be around for another 5 years. Even if they do make hands-off, self driving cars, fully autonomous cars without steering wheels or gas and brake pedals might be 10 years away (Howard, 2017). If this is something you wish could come sooner you might be able to do something to help the research and testing go faster. Obviously not all people will be interested at first, but as technology grows and cars that we have today start disappearing people will almost have to get a fully autonomous car 100 years in the future.


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