September17 , 2021

Look ma, no hands! Self-driving cars available in China for the public as taxi services now

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Since the last decade, the world has been changing its dynamics rapidly. Advancement in technology has upgraded our lifestyle. Life was never as luxurious and comfortable as it is today. Numerous automobile companies had been experimenting with driverless cars to serve humans globally. One of China’s Company AutoX has set off the driverless robo taxis on the road without a safety driver. 

China’s public has been enjoying the ride of driverless cars in downtown Shenzhen. The credit goes to AutoX which became the first one nationwide to offer services for the general public through the driverless automobile. The passengers get to sign up for a pilot program and use credit card membership to reach the destination. 

AutoX utilized the Waymo van to experiment with Artificial Intelligence technology in the vehicle. Like Waymo One, if you need any help or assistance, you can get connected with a customer support program.

Pandemic 2019 fueled up the efforts to have driverless cars

In 2019, the Coronavirus pandemic had boosted the efforts to introduce self-driving cars globally. In the pandemic, COVID-19, physical connection with people and the environment was considered dangerous and a major cause to spread the deadly disease. Car manufacturer companies felt a dire need to have self-driving cars that did not require any dealing with money. Additionally, auto-cars may also limit the connection of passengers and drivers while having a ride.  

How AutoX got successful?

AutoX was founded in 2016 by a lecturer of Princeton University, Xiaon, commonly famous as Professor X.  Only a 4-year old startup boosted by Alibaba has beaten the competitors in the race of manufacturing driverless vehicles. 

The climax in AutoX history started when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Chinese Startup had joined hands to work on self-driving cars. FCA has devoted its numerous efforts to manufacture Electric vehicles. Yet many Electric vehicle-based projects are under development by the company. 

In 2017, China had licensed self-driving cars to test on the roads that increased the momentum of the automobile platforms.  

Race of Self-driving cars worldwide 

However,  China’s automobile industry has been contributing impressively to the production of driverless vehicles. Volvo and Ford both are heading to produce unmanned cars with the Baidu. Similarly, other Chinese rideshare hubs like Didi Chuxingare and Tencent have speeded up the experiments and test trials of autonomous vehicles. 

After China and the US, UK, Japan, and Europe have also gained the momentum to set autonomous cars on track. Big tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and many others from Silicon valley have also plunged into the race of driverless cars. The most famous and attention-seeking project is Waymo One headed by Google. Waymo one has been rocking on the roads after several tets trials. Yet, it requires traveling of many miles to get available for public usage.

How does a self-driving vehicle perform?

A person unknown to technology may wonder how can a car without seeing anything can sense a parked vehicle, people in the scenario, or red or green lights on the road? Recently, AutoX released a demo video in which Fiat Chrysler pacific was shown to perform perfectly by detecting hurdles on the road like how to tackle a vehicle signaling red light.  Let us simplify the technique.

The self-driving car features artificial intelligence technology. The in-computers of the vehicle are induced with the traffic rules, driving rules, and other necessary information to drive on the road with people and vehicles. These vehicles carry cameras catching images from the surrounding. These images are sent to the in-computers to get in action. It seems simple in describing but is much complicated and harder technology to get prepared for the public.

 The self-driving car, Fiat Chrysler pacific is designed with a combination of LiDAR, radar, and blind-spot sensors. All these instruments and techniques help the car to drive safely on the road.

Safety drivers-a hurdle block 

Till now all efforts with self-driving cars feature safety drivers. safety driver is the human driver or operator that controls the autonomous cars. The purpose of a safety driver in the autonomous car is to take control in case of any disruption or emergency. Initially, the Chinese government had limited the auto cars with AI-based technology to carry safety drivers for a safer trip. Now, the launch of Chrysler Pacifica for public trips has opened new doors for auto cars without safety drivers. 

Self-driving cars vs. human drivers

Tech experts view self-driving cars as safer for the community. Various reasons lie under this perception:

  • Self-driving cars are expected to lower down the ratio of road accidents as cars cannot get drunk, unlike conventional drivers.
  • Another reason to have a safe ride is that cars cannot get dizzy while moving on the road as a human driver does and gets prey to the dangerous road accident.

Bottom-up

The collaboration of FCA and AutoX has successfully launched the Waymo-based vehicle. On the darker side, it appears difficult to convince the traditional drivers to leave the seat for a computer. Another important fact is that people who like to use a manual vehicle are hard to become a purchaser of autonomous cars. 

Though the cars with autonomous technology are already common among the public like features of auto-pilot, auto-parking are installed in various latest cars. Besides, speed, brakes, and steering are also operated autonomously in numerous public cars. Yet, it will take a longer time to hand over the complete control to in-car computers.   

A recent survey conducted in the US revealed that a greater number of Americans showed resentment for unmanned vehicles. 48% of Americans stated that they would never like to have a ride in autonomous cars.  

However, fifth-generation technology is underdeveloped and needs improvement before getting used commonly by the public. The successful launch of autonomous robotaxi is in China have energized the other competitors of AutoX worldwide. Hence, it seems that many years are required to make AI the favorite one to the public among the vehicles’ choice. 

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