31 January 2016

Praise To The Driverless Cars

The world lately is in a hype of the development of a new technological breakthrough in transportation field, prominent companies like Apple, Google, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, etc are in the race to deliver the best and functional: Driverless Cars.

The development of Driverless Cars employs so many frontier technology; robotics, radar, lidar, GPS, odometry, computer vision, advanced control system, space sensing, etc. New ideas of how a car should be able to behave are also tried to be implemented, for example design of wheels that can rotate 90 degrees so a car can maneuvers to its side directly to escape a congestion.

Despite being progressive in terms of technological advancement and product design, the true nature of the invention and development of Driverless Cars tend to be conservative.

It is still the same old anarchic method of mobility; where perception, judgement, and decision making are separated to a lot of brains, either to the brains of the drivers like today or to the brains of the cars later.

It can be good when all cars are Smart Driverless Cars and they are communicating with each other to decide together what would be the best for the overall mobility, the entirety of cars in an area becomes a big single-minded computer system.

But then again it is conservative in regard to the space required per single person's mobility. Personal cars method of transportation relies heavily on the abundant availability of space, namely roads, while space itself are more and more precious for the whole society as the number of population increases.

It is conservative because it is not providing chance and solutions of mobility for the greater population of human race. It is not solving societal problems nor advances their life, it only address the problem of a handful of people that are able to buy the car.

A Driverless Car is still a car and no more than a car, just a luxurious one.


However, we are aware that, in a societal construction like we have today, the development of the Driverless Cars are inevitable and required to advances the technologies further, to master them so one day they can be utilised for more progressive means. In a society like ours, technology will only develops where money are invested and there will no investment without promise of profit. That is just the consequences of capitalistic mode of production.

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