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Why do we need robotic cars? ConnectedCar technology is not a science fiction, but an accomplished fact.
We have already raised the issue of traffic safety on the roads of modern metropolis. If you approach these topics more globally, all issues can be completely removed from the agenda on the day the first unmanned car or robotic car leaves the assembly line. In fact, it is not the technology of tomorrow; such cars have been already existed!
A lot of systems of "smart" cruise control, as well as unmanned cars are offered by the modern auto industry as a solution to the problem of over 1.24 million deaths and injuries that occur on the roads each year.
In the first case (adaptive cruise control), there have been clear leaders and even "superstars" on the market for a long time; in the second case (vehicles with fully automatic control), a series of interesting concepts is separated from serial production only due to legal and moral issue.
Perhaps, the most famous and popular in the media concept of a robotic car is Google Self-Driving Car (Google car). Google has actively worked on this project for over 5 years. There are several dozens of autonomous vehicles on the roads of California. In 2012, the company reported on more than 300 thousand miles travelled by their robotic cars without a single incident.
An idea of the system reliability has been repeatedly demonstrated. Moreover, the company is positioning the concept as the easiest in use vehicle whose purpose is very simple – delivery of the owner from point "A" to point "B". It is assumed that such technology is the future of public transport.
Attempts to promote the idea of entirely "independent" cars are more and more creative. However, one of the largest forces hampering the development of this automotive industry area is a regulatory basis. At the moment, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, China and other countries are actively testing the technology of autonomous vehicles, but they cannot move forward without a green light from the legislative bodies.
As usual, Americans are among the leaders. Last year, they legally allowed to test unmanned cars on public roads (only CA), subject to manual control option. In the near future, it is expected that the California Vehicle Registration Service will be able to issue special driving license to operate self-propelled vehicles. This step will allow the industry to become "closer to the people."
However, it is recognized that there are too many difficulties in this area. Basically, it is the issues of responsibility. Should a drive have an option to operate the vehicle? On the other hand, should the vehicle be completely electronic? Who will be guilty in the case of accidents involving drone: an owner of the car, a manufacturer or someone else? Elon Musk, the head of Tesla Motors, is trying to determine the position of his company in these issues. However, this topic is multifaceted enough to have unequivocal answers.
Moral and legal issues affecting the development of unmanned vehicles will be discussed by the participants of ConnectadCar exhibition and conference, which will be held on March 12-14 at Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Centre in Moscow.
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