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Uber and Volvo Team Up To Create Autonomous Vehicles


Self-driving cars was a futuristic concept until a couple years ago. The introduction of revolutionary technology and the growing importance of data can be credited for the continuation and growth of autopilot capable automobiles. This concept was only imaginable when movies set in the future featured autopilot cars in some superhero or action movie. Innovators like Elon Musk of Tesla, have cultivated and grown this idea, making it a reality in early 2017. Other automobile manufacturers have been forced to invest and develop their own autopilot technology in order to show progression and in order to keep up with their competitors who were the initial ‘founders’ of this autopilot movement. Americans can already order a driverless taxis in some cities but a human operator needs to be in the car. The topic of autopilot capable cars have been continuously trending up due to people’s continued interest. This interest can be credited to the information provided by companies that are supportive of autopilot functions. Companies are providing support for autopilot cars by saying they will prevent more accidents. Driving accidents are caused by human error (driving recklessly, distracted, and/or under the influence). The Eno Center for Transportation has conducted a study that quotes “up to 4.2 million accidents would be prevented; 21,700 lives would be preserved and more than $400 billion in related costs would be eliminated.” These numbers have prompted all companies to aim even higher, creating more innovative ideas and advanced solutions for this technology induced trend. Companies that work in the automobile industry but don’t produce their own cars, like Uber and Lyft, are thinking of innovative ideas regarding autopilot cars. Uber has just announced a deal with Volvo, for the purchase of 24,000 autonomous vehicles. Uber claims that the need for human-drivers will always be there, but not all critics agree. Their highly publicized labor fights with their drivers may be a driving factor for their added interest in autopilot cars. The sheer potential of these Volvo autonomous vehicles has prompted RethinkX’s founder, Jamie Arbib, to advise Uber drivers to not view their relationship with Uber as a long term business contract. He recommends that the drivers look for another job within the next couple of years. Arbib says that these autonomous “cars learn by doing. The more miles they’re covering, the more experience companies will have adapting to different cityscapes, atmospheric conditions and regulations.” Uber’s head of automotive alliances, Jeff Miller, says that they’re aiming to launch these vehicles by 2019. Volvo’s deal with Uber has been critiqued by many. Some are contemplating why Volvo would agree to sell their autonomous cars to a “taxi service” company like Uber, instead of reserving this fleet of cars for potential customers. Volvo’s vice president says that this trend is inevitable. Instead of watching this deal go to another automobile manufacturer, Volvo decided to seize the opportunity. Speculations by the executive director of Edmunds.com hypothesizes that more automobile companies are going to partner off. It’s going to be the start of revolutionizing the industry. Automobile companies will no longer fight each other for customers, but for partnerships with companies like Uber and Lyft for supplying contracts. These contracts and deals won’t just be limited to “taxi service” companies and automobile companies, they’ll also include big technology companies from Silicon Valley. The data used to help operate these cars and upload this information is going to involve Silicon Valley because they have the capacity and knowledge to develop this new technology.

Who will this effect?

The increasing trend of self-driving cars will affect all people. People will experience many benefits from using an autopilot car such as perhaps prompting people to not own a car, but simply order a self-driving taxi. Traffic will not be as congested as these cars have been programmed automatically to allow space for other cars, and will keep traffic moving freely. They will be free to be distracted on their technology, sleep, or even get work done; so long as the car doesn’t require their attention to operate safely. Trends for self-driving cars will also help more people get around conveniently such as the disabled, elderly, and children, as they won’t be required to possess a driver’s license in order to get to a destination. Although, this concept has many great benefits, there are industries that stand to lose a lot. The autopilot cars will reduce accidents, reducing the need for repair shops and mechanics. The reliability and safety of the autopilot cars will reduce the need for traffic enforcement, as speeding laws will be obeyed and more traffic accidents will be avoided. The concept of implementing autopilot cars appears to be a sure thing, it’s just a matter of when. With the aim to become fully autonomous, the requirements of a non-failing computer system is imperative to ensure the reliability and safety of each vehicle. The call for in-vehicle systems play a crucial role in making sure that autonomous vehicles will not fail. Many modes of transportation such as trains already utilize these systems in order for them to function on a day to day basis, and with self-driving vehicles, the concept remains the same. Ruggedized systems, like Premio's ACO system are one of many fanless systems that are designed for vehicle applications. These in-vehicle fanless systems must be able to withstand extreme temperature and debris, but maintain functionality. With Premio's In-Vehicle Fanless Systems, power and performance is blended with a rugged frame that is able to withstand a range or operating conditions. To be able to function with the high demand that a autonomous car will bring is the key in creating the trend of self-driving vehicles. Original Sources: