A recent survey conducted by Kanetix.ca indicated one in four Canadians are ready for the driverless car. In fact, they can’t wait for the day the technology becomes available. Most important, the majority of Canadians believe driverless car technology will result in fewer accidents, speeding and drunk driving. When driverless cars demonstrate this to be true, quality of life would be greatly improved.
Advancements in electronics that will make the driverless car a reality are certainly the talk of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016). Here is the run down on the major advancements announced at this year’s CES. Not only are auto manufactures amping up their research and development in the autonomous arena, but so are many organizations in the field of information technology and electronics.
They plan to triple the size of their autonomous car testing fleet making it the largest. Ford believes more testing and learning is needed to make the cars safe for everyone.
Toyota is investing $1 billion in artificial intelligence for cars. They’re setting up two research development centres opening in March in Palo Alto, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Toyota believes that a fully autonomous vehicle can’t be achieved without a machine learning computer that can navigate complex environments and keep passengers and pedestrians safe.
Kia is new to the area of research and development of autonomous vehicles and plan to invest $2 billion by 2018 to accelerate research and development in this area. They just received their licence to begin driverless car testing in the state of Nevada.
The new CEO of Volkswagen, Dr. Herbert Diess, announced that he’ll lead the charge to rethink and reengineer everything Volkswagen does in the wake of the emissions scandal. While fixing the emission standards in 11 million cars remains the top priority, they’ll invest to develop the automobile as the ultimate mobile device. The Volkswagen of the future will have zero emissions, mitigate accidents and will be smart and comfortable. This development will lead to the completion of a driverless car.
General Motors just invested $500 million into the ride-sharing company called Lyft. The CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, believes an early commercial application of the driverless car would be for ride-sharing. Many studies have shown the millennial generation believes in the sharing economy and in addition to their aptitude to try driverless vehicles this seems to be a great partnership.
Ginny Rometty, CEO of IBM, announced at CES the capabilities and features of the Watson Developer Clould. Everyone remembers the episode of Jeopardy in 2011 when Watson the computer out-answered human contestants and won the game show. IBM believes that the Internet of things must be cognitive. This means that using data, machines have the ability to learn, adapt and make improvements. In order for driverless cars to navigate complex environments, they must be connected. The Watson Cloud will open the computing power for automotive and electronics manufactures to have data capture intelligently processed giving cognitive capabilities to the software.
Did you know Blackberry is building software for cars? Back in 2010, Blackberry acquired a company called QNX when it needed to rethink the Blackberry operating system. QNX became the base software for Blackberry 10, which powers the latest Blackberry smartphones. The software is actually installed in 50 per cent of the world’s automotive infotainment systems including Audi, Volkswagen, Ford, GM and Chrysler.
QNX has been building operating system software for cars since 2000. The software is fast and can handle the many tasks needed to operate a driverless car. At CES, Blackberry launched a new platform for ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) and Automated Driving. It’s designed to help manufacturers build software that runs in real-time required to operate a driverless car. It’s very possible that Blackberry may run all the driverless cars of the future!
With so many great organizations and great minds focused on better mobility for everyone with a paramount emphasis on safety, the future for the driverless car promises to improve the quality of living for humanity.
MORE ON HUFFPOST: