Self-driving cars might be just the long-term solution that we’re looking for. Developing such technology has the potential to save thousands of human lives. But, the goal to create fully autonomous vehicles takes as much attention to technical details as agreement on safety standards. We need to keep the lines of communication open between car makers and their vendors.
What’s the state of autonomous cars? To find out, the Autotech Council—a Silicon Valley-based ecosystem of automobile industry players—held an industry gathering. The half-day event, hosted by Western Digital, brought together 300 leaders in the autonomous cars industry. We partnered with SiliconANGLE, a leading digital media platform, to spend a few minutes talking with a select group of these leaders. Watch the latest expert interview here.
Does the future of driving mean groceries delivered autonomously to your driveway?
Move over on-demand, food-delivery services. There’s a new delivery company in Silicon Valley. And it just might put an end to those tedious runs to the local grocery store.
Imagine a world where your groceries are delivered to your driveway. It’s a ten-second walk to your driveway instead of a ten-minute drive to the store. Food that’s delivered, not by someone that you don’t know, but by… well, no one at all.
We’re talking about the rise of autonomous delivery, and it’s not as far away as you might think.
A New Way of Food Transportation
You might think that autonomous delivery is as simple as filling a self-driving car with groceries. But, there’s many more pieces to the puzzle. Just ask Daniel Laury, Chief Executive Officer at Udelv. His startup is transforming the way that delivery is done, starting with markets and restaurants.
To make this happen, Daniel and his team have worked with their customers to organize the cargo space on self-driving cars to get the most payload possible. After all, packing more groceries on each vehicle’s trip could reduce the cost per mile. The result? An impressive mix of design, mechanical engineering, and ease of use.
Another issue that comes up with autonomous delivery is road navigation in tight spaces. Just think of a busy parking lot. To maneuver in such a hectic environment, Udelv has focused on high precision. Getting within a few feet is too far. One-to-two centimeter accuracy is the goal.
The All-Important First and Last Mile
On busy roads, driving conditions are complex and constantly changing. For a human driver, there are two main issues to deal with. The first problem is identifying and understanding different scenarios. Should you brake or accelerate? Turn left or right?
And then, there’s the actual driving decision. The amount of time after you make a decision in your head to physically perform a driving maneuver in your car. This latency can mean the difference between a close call and a full-blown automobile accident. Technologies such as artificial intelligence might offer autonomous vehicles the ability to understand different driving scenarios and make real-time decisions.
So, in the future, when you need a loaf of bread or carton of milk, you might just avoid a trip to the grocery store and walk to your driveway instead.
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