The third Sunday of November each year is the anniversary of the victims of world road traffic accidents. According to statistics from the United Nations in early 2008, about 1.2 million people die every year from road traffic accidents worldwide. By the end of 2015, this data has become 125. Million. 90% of these people are from low- and middle-income countries, and young people between the ages of 15 and 29 are the biggest victims. How to make driving safer? Technology provides the "unmanned" program.
Compared with urban traffic with complicated road conditions, unmanned driving is more suitable for closed high speed.
Is driverless safer? Many media commentators believe that the development of artificial intelligence makes people want to use unmanned driving to improve vehicle safety performance. This is understandable, but the limitations of technology itself make the safety factor of driverless people difficult to win the trust. Therefore, this question is a scientific mystery, as difficult as the problem of "chicken eggs" or "eggs and chickens."
But such awkward situation has not dispelled the idea that people continue to develop unmanned technology. At the end of last month, the OTTO car company's driverless trucks successfully completed the first cargo delivery mission. The shipment site was selected in Colorado in the western United States. The OTTO truck loaded with 45,000 cans of beer experienced 2 hours of no-load. People drive and arrive safely at the warehouse. This trip is about 193 kilometers, which is the first time in the field of driverless trucks.
Anthony Lewandowski is one of the founders of OTTO, a former R&D engineer at Google's driverless project and the founder of the "510 System" in Google's unmanned groundbreaking technology. OTTO's main body is 40 employees from companies such as Google, Apple and Tesla, and its research and development focus is on truck autopilot. To prove that the truck is capable of autopilot, OTTO uses a Volvo VNL780 truck equipped with radar, laser, camera and software to complete the cargo mission.
Lior Ron is the head of the project, and he originally worked in the Google Maps department. In the officially released cargo video, he said that the average speed of the trucks in this trip can reach 89 kilometers. Most of the time is on the closed highway. There is no need to frequently wait for the traffic lights, nor have you ever More road signs and driving restrictions. Compared with urban traffic with complicated road conditions, driverless is more suitable for closed high speed.
Unmanned driving will become an important part of future Japanese urban traffic
In addition to OTTO, unmanned commercial pilots are increasingly available in the United States. In August of this year, Uber Company told customers in Pittsburgh that it would only be able to summon a self-driving car with a single click of the mobile phone. In the middle of this month, Tesla released a high-profile auto-driving platform video called â€œTesla Perspectiveâ€, which â€œsuggestedâ€ that taxi drivers were completely laid off.
Of course, don't think that only people in the Americas are so popular with unmanned driving. On the 13th of this month, Japan carried out a passenger test on the unmanned bus on the road in Semboku City, Akita Prefecture.
The test uses the "robot shuttle bus" developed by DeNA, a world-renowned mobile game company, with a total length of about 4 meters, a width of 2 meters and a height of about 3 meters. It can accommodate up to 12 people and there is no driver's seat, steering wheel and accelerator inside. The trial operation is about 10 kilometers per hour, but the top speed can reach 40 kilometers per hour. As can be seen from the official video, the shape of this bus is very similar to the "EZ10" operated in downtown Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Semboku City is Japanâ€™s â€œNational Strategic Special Zoneâ€ and has therefore become the first experimental site in Japan to use a steering-free automatic vehicle. The project team deliberately recruited more than 60 people from the public to participate in the test ride. The bus determines the driving position through the satellite positioning system and senses the surrounding environment with the sensor. During the test, the road along the Tianyu Lake in Sengbei City was blocked, and the driverless bus rider traveled four times along the one-way 400-meter route. The driving is safe and stable, and it is recognized by the citizens.
As early as August this year, the AEON MALL Shopping Center in Chiba City, Japan, also started the unmanned bus trial operation. It is not difficult to guess that the Japanese government has begun to promote the application range of driverless driving. Similar to Dubai's 2030 driverless plan, unmanned driving will become an important part of future Japanese urban traffic while ensuring safety.
Driverlessness may be more responsive to business applications and prior to personal ownership
Continuous safety trials and commercial trials continue to refresh people's understanding of driverless technology. The accident of unmanned car accidents that occurred some time ago is no longer so eye-catching, but this does not mean that the market of unmanned vehicles is on the road. There is no obstacle.
Many people worry that driverless technology can lead to unemployment, whether it is a truck driver, a bus driver or a taxi driver. In this regard, Lior Ron believes that the characteristics of driverless technology are that the driving work can be completed without interruption, and the driver is prevented from driving fatigue. In the long run, logistics costs can also be reduced, but similar to loading, unloading, etc., or manual assistance is required. In other words, the drivers actually have new helpers. The development of driverless is not to eliminate the driver, but to provide a better labor model.
Michelle Klebs, a senior analyst at the US auto trading platform, points out that more and more people believe that driverless technology may be more suitable for business applications than individuals with unmanned vehicles, and that they are personally owned. After all, there is a premise that an unmanned vehicle is parked in the garage of each person, that is, the existing vehicle can be fully equipped with an automatic driving system, or there is a green recycling technology for handling non-smart cars. Currently, neither of them is realistic.
Half of the world's annual traffic accidents are not people sitting in cars or trucks, but people on the roadside, bicycles and motorcycles. Unmanned vehicles will reduce this. After promoting autonomous driving, Dubai is expected to reduce transportation costs by 44%. The comprehensive cost savings will reach 39 billion yuan, while reducing traffic pollution by 12% and reducing traffic accidents by 12% every year. Therefore, although unmanned driving is highly controversial, the trial results and forecast data show that its commercial development is a good way to deal with traffic problems.
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