What Is a Robot Car?

Alex Newth

A robot car is a car with artificial intelligence and the ability to drive itself without any human interaction. Advanced sensing equipment and the use of lasers and cameras let the robot car boast a much lower crash potential than that of the common human driver. The car is linked directly to a global positioning system (GPS), so it is able to navigate itself to the driver’s destination. While this car is meant to be automatic and drive without human participation, humans can interact with the car to drive manually, if desired. Many people believe a robot car's safety rating may eventually result in lighter frames that save on gas.

Many believe robot cars will minimize the prevalence of car crashes due to the elimination of human error.
Many believe robot cars will minimize the prevalence of car crashes due to the elimination of human error.

One of the biggest benefits of a robot car is a substantially lower crash potential when compared to human drivers. This car cannot get distracted and senses all angles, so it is much more capable of preventing an accident, unlike human drivers who can be distracted and can only see several angles at a time. Another reason for this is that the car has sensing equipment capable of noting when objects are too close. The car’s artificial intelligence is based on human actions and, if an object gets too close, the car will have a human reaction to the object, such as swerving or moving away.

Unlike humans, who can get lost while driving, a robot car is linked to a GPS. This allows such a car to navigate itself after the driver inputs the desired address. While it is possible that a robot car can lose its GPS signal, tests have shown this possibility to be negligible.

While a robot car is designed as an automatic system that can drive without human interaction, the system is made to allow humans to take over when desired. This is normally a decision based on preference, but the car may return control to the driver if a problem is detected. For example, if there is an issue with the cameras or GPS system, then the car will play a message stating there is a problem and the driver will have to take over.

As of 2011, a robot car has not been officially released to the pubic and is still in the testing stages. If such a car does become public, many experts predict it will result in lighter frames because of the substantially decreased possibility of crashing. This would cause cars to use much less gas, but the car would be more susceptible to damage if an accident did occur.

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