Introduction to autonomous vehicles

On average, one person dies every minute somewhere in the world due to a car crash (Powers and Nicastri, 2000). And most of the car accidents are caused by the careless driving. People sometimes drive for a very long time and get tired. People sometimes focus on talking with their friends when they are driving,  I even know a friend died because he drove after he got drunk. Driving by human is not always safe. You must keep focusing on the road condition when you’re driving. But autonomous vehicle can make you free of driving.

Autonomous vehicles, (according to,  are “capable of fulfilling the human transportation capabilities of a traditional car. As an autonomous vehicle, it is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input.”(1)Image

(This image, which was originally posted to, was uploaded to Commons using Flickr upload bot on 19:22, 26 October 2009 (UTC) by Kozuch (talk).)

Normally the autonomous vehicles use  cameras or radar  lane to gather the information of the environment and then the controller will tell the vehicle to drive at the right direction and speed. The GPS or INU sensor will give feedback to the control system.

This technology has a long history. In 1926, Achen Motor demonstrated  a radio controlled car  “Phantom Auto”at the streets of Milwaukee.(“‘Phantom Auto’ will tour city”The Milwaukee Sentinel. Google News Archive. 8 December 1926). In the recent year , this technology has been developed more. Some people even predict that this technology will be the future of vehicles.

So in this blog, we will mainly discuss whether this technology can be accepted by the whole society and its promising future.



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2 responses to “Introduction to autonomous vehicles

  1. Hello,

    I found this topic very interesting because i’m very skeptical about this. It could be indeed the solution for all traffic accidents. But there are so many traffic situations that I think it’s impossible to automate the whole trip and also that people will blindly rely on it. And so that it will be on the other hand more unsafe than manual driving. I know it is still soon in your research but don’t you think it will only be accepted on for example highways?

    • Thanks for your reply! The prospective of autonomous vehicles is promising, however, lots of innovations are waiting to be done to make it feasible both in reality and in ethics. We hope there will be one day autonomous vehicles are widely accepted and can be run in any situations (for instance on highways) with or without human interference. We’ll see what comes out ^_^.

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