Spinning Slots In A Self Driving CarOnline Casino, Entertainment, Technology
When bringing up the subject of self-driving cars most people will immediately refer to the topic of world-renowned billionaire Elon Musk. It was Musk, after all, that made the concept of having a fully automated self-driving car a reality in many minds. But lest it be forgotten, it still isn’t possible to kick back in an automated car, spin the slot’s reels at an online casino on your mobile device, and let the vehicle do the driving for you.
In fact, Musk has been called out repeatedly over the years for suggesting that Tesla cars are close to being fully automated, when in fact they aren’t even close. In Munich, a case was even brought against Tesla by the Centre for Protection Against Unfair Competition, with it being demanded that Tesla advertising campaigns cut back on how much they refer to Tesla vehicles as being autonomous or having self-driving capabilities. It turns out that, sorry to say, Tesla vehicles have assisted driving functionality, but are still a long way from actually being capable of driving on their own.
If getting specific, experts in automation, when asked outright how far away a fully automated vehicle really is, have hinted that it may not even be for the next decade or more. But didn’t Musk suggest that it would be possible years ago already?
He certainly did…
With all that being said, there is more than just one type of automated vehicle, and more than just a single application for the technology. In other industries vehicle automation is coming along at a breakneck pace, and will likely be a multibillion dollar industry in a decade or two.
How Big Is The Autonomous Vehicle Industry?
If putting aside the idea of a vehicle that is capable of driving without human interaction, the automated vehicle category actually encapsulates a vast range of features. Automated breaking systems, for example, are now standard in many consumer grade vehicles, and fit neatly into the category.
With accident rates still sky high around the world, and showing no signs of decreasing, the demand for safety enhancing autonomous features are off the charts. This overwhelming demand has pushed industry behemoths such as Nissan, Toyota, BMW, Ford, Audi, Mercedes Benz and Honda to invest further into the technology, pushing the industry forward and resulting in rapid breakthroughs.
The fact is that each of the above mentioned companies are all sinking billions into automated vehicle research, and estimates say that by 2028 the industry will likely be worth around $880 billion. Keep in mind that this investment is not focused on fully automated vehicles, but rather automated safety enhancement vehicles.
When getting down into the nuts and bolts of the tech, it is clear that more strides have been made in autonomous vehicle functionality than ever before. Specifically, LiDAR and RADAR sensor technology has been a primary focus.
LiDAR, which is light detection ranging, is seen as the key in pushing the technology to the next level. LiDAR, when combined with cutting edge processing software, helps to place physical objects in 3D space, which in turn makes it possible to fire off automated systems that operate separate from actions taken by the driver.
Even if this doesn’t mean that a car will soon be capable of hitting the highway on its own anytime soon, allowing the driver to spin reels on their phone, what it does mean is that the average driver is now less likely to have an accident than ever before.
Automated Airport Shuttles
If being frank, the real challenge is automated vehicles that are expected to function in extremely challenging situations. Namely, on roads occupied by other drivers. But if stripping away these enormously difficult factors, it turns out that automated vehicles have actually already come a long way.
ThorDrive is a company that specialises in automated airport luggage carriers, and these little gizmos are already more than capable of doing their job with little to no human input. Yes, airports can hardly be compared to the extremely dangerous and demanding situations found on the average highway, but it is still impressive none the less.
A ThorDrive luggage is projected to have a cost of around $150,000, although is not for sale just yet. But rumours are that various New York Airports have put out an open invitation for any company to come forward and demonstrate a workable automated solution for luggage carrying needs.
Back To The Future
But this brings us back to the bold claims made by billionaires such as Elon Musk. Musk is on record as claiming that fully automated vehicles would be available by the end of 2020, and he has even gone as far as to suggest that he has immediate plans for fleets of robotic taxis.
But doing even a hint of research into his claims, and how realistic they are, will turn up only vast evidence that Musk is proficient at overpromising, misleading, and frankly, outright lying. Although Tesla vehicles are cutting edge in many regards, and certainly impressive, they are not going to be self-driving for a long time yet. In fact, a best estimate says that they will likely not be fully automated in this generation at all.
It helps to rather think of the Autopilot system integrated into Tesla’s as being on 5 levels.
Level 0 is no automation.
Level 1 is standard cruise control.
Level 2 is partial automation that allows for cruise control with lane changing,
and automatic parallel parking.
Level 3 is partial driving automation that functions in most conditions, but that
still requires human input.
Level 4 is high levels of automation, including driving automation, and a system
hat is capable of overriding bad decision made by the human driver.
Level 5 is, finally, full automation that does not require a human at all.
As it stands, Tesla cars are between levels 2 and 3, with no signs that level 3 will be fully adopted any time soon.
More Hype Than Reality
There is a certain appeal to the idea that vehicles may be able to drive themselves in the future.
Wouldn’t it just be the coolest thing ever?
Every 80s and 90s science fiction film has pushed the idea repeatedly, driving it into public mentality that such self-driving wonders would be possible sooner rather than later.
But when looking at the hard facts, we certainly won’t be enjoying fully automated public vehicles, and even hyping the idea at this point is silly. As it stands drivers are still required to keep their wits about them, and have their hands ready to take over from an Autopilot system. We should certainly not get comfortable with the idea that an automated system is anything close to being a responsible driver.
With all that being said, automation is still becoming an integral part of vehicles, and already has the ability to save lives. That fact, of course, is worth celebrating, and where the real benefits of the technology can be found. A self-driving car is a neat idea, but one that can assist a driver, and quietly save lives far more impressive.