An interesting one self-driving system comes from researchers at Oxford University, who claim that their self-driving vehicle can adjust to weather conditions. In addition to this, the technology can be retrofitted to existing cars, and could be purchased for as little as 100 British pounds ($153).
The Google autonomous vehicle is currently one of the most ambitious and expensive innovations of the technology giant, but will it ever become affordable to the mass market?
It has been almost 3 years since Google announced the success of their one of a kind project, the Google car is able to safely drive itself on US roads thanks to a complex combination of GPS, laser range finding and mapping, which help determining the position and the best route for the vehicle.
It might come as a surprise to some, but the price of one vehicle comes to around $150,000. Now, considering that only the laser rangefinder mounted on board costs $70,000, the cost is somehow reasoned.
As it is with every miracle of technology, the price always comes down eventually, however the main question here remains. Are people going to get over the fact that they should trust a computerised machine completely in order to feel safe on the road?
Not to mention, how many of us are willing to take the chance and spend this incredible sum only to find out what they really get in return?
The idea of having a self-driving car is quite a tempting one, especially for those drivers, who are not entirely sure in their driving skills. It is definitely a safe option, which can reduce the number of accidents and casualties on the road and even contribute towards easier and more efficient traffic flow.
In this sense, many Google rivals are already working on cheaper alternatives. Various other systems coming from all parts of the world include video cameras that are combined with computer-vision algorithms, driver-alert systems to detect whether the driver is awake, and of course the self-parking systems.
So did Google make the right investment? Only time will show.