The Era of Autonomous Cars: The Future of Urban Mobility

Autonomous cars are increasingly seen in cities around the world and are highly sought after by people who want a modern, intelligent, and economical vehicle.

Due to this high interest among the global population, we are witnessing the creation of a true era of autonomous cars that is expected to be long-lasting and the future of urban mobility in all countries.

All the technology behind autonomous cars has been developed over the years to meet the needs of drivers and traffic, improving aspects that ensure greater safety during travel.

Still, as the era of autonomous cars is in full expansion, it is expected that these vehicles will undergo further studies, research, and technological advances to establish themselves as the future of urban mobility.

In this article, learn more details about the era of autonomous cars and how these vehicles are being seen as the future of our urban mobility. Enjoy the content.

What autonomous cars are and how they work

Autonomous cars can be understood as vehicles that have the ability to travel on roads without or with minimal human interference while in motion.

This autonomy is well utilized by people who want to relax in some way during the journey until they reach their destination, as well as to avoid the daily stress that traffic provides.

As you might imagine, autonomous cars make use of the most advanced technology in the world to perform their functions correctly, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and the 5G network.

The integrated use of these technologies allows autonomous cars to take control of the steering wheel and drive passengers in the direction that is planned.

Regarding the operation of autonomous cars, they work basically with the help of software, sensors, and cameras, all integrated so that the steering is truly autonomous.

Thus, autonomous cars have the ability to detect other vehicles, people, and other obstacles around them, as well as having complete autonomy in making decisions in the face of any adversity in traffic.

Currently, there is the following categorization of autonomy levels for cars:

Level 0: vehicle driving is done entirely by the driver, but the car already has technologies to assist in driving, such as the reverse sensor and speed control, for example.

Level 1: the car is already capable of taking on some functions, such as the autopilot. Even so, the driver needs to be in control of the steering.

Level 2: here, the car can already accelerate, brake, and assimilate signaling alone to stay on course. However, it is recommended that the driver be available to take the wheel if necessary.

Level 3: the car can already have autonomy for long road trips without human intervention, which is only requested in an urban perimeter, mainly.

Level 4: the vehicle almost completely takes over the steering commands that are normally done by a person, requiring only the driver to intervene to drive the car in dangerous situations, such as in heavy rain.

Level 5: the car is 100% autonomous and does not require the driver’s action for the commands to be made. Thus, everyone inside the car becomes passengers, and the car itself can request the driver’s intervention when it deems it appropriate.

The current stage of autonomous car development is at level 3, and some models are already being commercialized, but it is expected that the next levels will be reached soon.

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Obstacles for autonomous cars

Even with the era of autonomous cars among us, these vehicles need to overcome some obstacles to be more present in people’s daily lives.

Connectivity is a major challenge for autonomous cars, as not all cities have adequate technological infrastructure to provide stability in data transmission and connections with a strong signal, important points for these vehicles to circulate correctly.

Another difficulty concerns traffic regulations that need to adapt to the technologies used in autonomous cars.

Some issues arise from this, such as responsibility in case of accidents, the level of interpretation of the external world, response time, among others.

In addition, all streets must be suitable for receiving autonomous cars and allowing free circulation of these vehicles, either with more technology or even with signals adapted specifically for smart cars.

The future of urban mobility with autonomous cars

Even with the obstacles mentioned in the previous section, the forecast is that autonomous cars will overcome the problems and take over the automotive market in the coming years.

This will serve as a stimulus for traffic as we know it to undergo beneficial changes for everyone, including a decrease in accidents and driver stress.

The trend is for the infrastructure of cities to gradually transform to accommodate the large volume of autonomous cars we will have in the near future, always with studies and plans aimed at improving traffic.

Therefore, the future of urban mobility in all countries will necessarily depend not only on the evolution of autonomous cars but also on the evolution of people’s awareness that this will be another positive advance of technology in our lives.

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