Integrating electric cars with self-driving technology: Good or Bad

Self-Driving Cars VS Electric Cars

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Our auto industry has been progressing at an impressive pace. When we buy any car, we don’t have to make a choice between a regular vehicle, an SUV, or a luxury drive anymore. Our options have widened to a great extent. When it comes to the auto industry, we can now talk about hybrid, electrically powered, and self-driving cars.

It is necessary to understand that there’s a significant difference between the concepts of self-driving vehicles and electric vehicles. However, most people assume that if a car has the self-driving capability, it must be electrically powered too. Well, that’s not true.

A self-driving car can be a regular car that runs on gasoline or diesel but with advanced features that allows it to become autonomous. It may or may not be electrically powered. To understand the two concepts clearly, let’s have a look at both individually and compare their pros and cons.

Everything to know about self-driving cars

Self-driving cars are the hot gossip in the industry lately. They are getting attention from all angles including media, general discussions about wellness and healthcare, and the public policy sphere.

As happy as people are about this fantastic achievement, the concern about making roads safer has grown too. The Centers for Disease Control reveals, more than 33,000 end up in traffic accidents annually and the number only tends to increase with time. Most of these road accidents can be prevented, and distracted driving is the primary reason why these accidents occur.

The self-driving car is precisely what it sounds like. This is a kind of auto-industry advancement that we have dreamt of for a long time. Fortunately, we aren’t far from actually seeing a dozen of them on the roads already. However, there are still debates over if these cars will improve the overall safety.

While a fully autonomous car is an exciting idea in itself, it can be quite scary for some people, especially those who are not willing to entrust their lives into the hands of artificial intelligence. Tesla has the honor of introducing not only driverless cars but also electric vehicles. However, those vehicles are not entirely autonomous. It is, in fact, an advanced version of autopilot, where the vehicle takes the cruise control and detect driver’s conditions and obstacles.

But before we jump to the conclusion whether all driverless cars should be electric-powered or not, here are the top pros and cons associated with self-driving cars.

Pros

1.  The computer or artificial intelligence (AI) works as an ideal motorist to avoid the myriad of drivers’ bad and careless behaviors. Research shows how more than 80% car crashes are caused due to human error. The smart technology promises to eliminate such dangers out of the equation to a great extent.

2. Unlike human brain, programs run by computers are based on complicated algorithms to decide what to react and when. These algorithms help the car to determine the distance from other vehicles, perfect stopping distance, and other similar data to reduce the likelihood of accidents.

3. Computers cannot be lousy or distracted. Distraction has been identified as the leading cause of severe accidents in the U.S. currently.

4. According to the Department of U.S. Transportation, every human life has a value. Presently, it is $9.2 million. By introducing this incredible technology of self-driving cars, there could be significant cost saving in various venues including healthcare, insurance, and recovery.

5. The cost-saving mentioned above can also be associated with regards to time. When a computer is responsible for taking the wheels, drivers can utilize that time to do other things that are more important.

6. Self-driving cars are particularly an opportunity for disabled individuals, who had to rely on assistance to commute. Self-driving cars enable them to reap the benefits of improved mobility and freedom.

Cons

1. Teletrac highlights how operating a self-driving car may require proper education. Even in a self-driving car, the input from the human-driver is essential. The computer can take care of the operational aspects once it is provided the guidelines on how to operate safely.

2. Not every average American can afford this high tech implementation. Currently, the power, engineering, software, computer requirements, sensors, and detectors are making more than $100.

3. The self-driving car wouldn’t entirely eliminate the chances of an accident. In fact, there is still a need to plan the legal precedent for how such cases will be resolved. The most difficult question would be who to blame or hold responsible for the crash – the driver? The manufacturer? The programmer? It could get quite tricky.

Related

All you need to know about electric cars

Just like not all self-driving cars would be electrically-powered, not all the electric vehicles that at least partially operate on electricity would include the self-driving technology.

Electric powered vehicles rely on electricity, fuel cell, or batteries to run, unlike the conventional vehicles that used diesel or gasoline. There are different types of electric cars available and already hitting the roads like a boss.

The most commonly known electric cars are ‘Plug-in hybrids‘. These come with an electric motor but also features a tank for both diesel and gasoline. The battery-powered motor is recharged by plugging in.

Other varieties of electric vehicles depend entirely on electricity. These cars are also referred to as ‘green vehicles‘ because, regarding both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutions, they tend to be cleaner and more efficient.

The best benefit of switching to an electric car is the overall saving you can make on the fueling cost. Estimates show how a person can save up to $700 on average by saving fuel.

Pros

1. You can instantly experience what a quality ride it is when you ride in a battery-powered vehicle, which does not require a petroleum-powered combustion engine. This makes it very quiet and efficient. One press on the accelerator and the wheels catch the power to offer the driver an incredible experience.

2. You recharge your vehicle at home. No more waiting in long gas station queues. Pull your car into the driveway or garage and plug it into the charger inlet. After a few hours, your car is ready for another adventure up to 100 miles. The charging time and mileage it offers vary depending on the car’s manufacturer and model.

3. As mentioned above, an electric car is much cheaper to operate. The most significant advantage is the cost saving on petroleum. Electric vehicles do not require oil changes or high maintenance costs.

Cons

1. ‘Range anxiety‘ is a real thing for electric car owners. Most of these cars that fall into the affordable category does not offer more than 100 miles of range and can take hours to fully recharge. You need to plan and predict your drive to ensure you are always covered unless you have a range-extending engine in the backup.

2. You may say goodbye to long queues at the gas station, but you will still have to recharge your car for hours to refuel it completely. So while you can add a few hundred miles in five minutes at a gas station, you will need an hour to prepare your car for 20-25 miles if its electric.

3. Electric cars may offer you significant savings on fuel in the long run, but the price tag of the car itself is quite hefty. EVs are considerably much more expensive than a regular gas-powered vehicle.

Is it a good idea to integrate electric cars with self-driving technology?

That’s indeed the next step! With the pace at which our tech industry is moving, these two technologies integrated together are going to be a hit. It’s like a win-win situation for a car owner to enjoy both these amazing AI and high-tech abilities together.

A smart car that can drive itself and runs on energy-saving electricity will be the next big thing that all car enthusiasts will be after.

In short, we can definitely hope to see these models hitting the market very soon!

Integrating electric cars with self-driving technology: Good or Bad