What’s the future of Autonomous vehicles and drones?

Autonomous vehicles and autonomous drones are new technologies, which have entered collective knowledge for a few years, but not everyone knows how they work and what their advantages and disadvantages may be.

Autonomous vehicles: the new future on road

Automatic cars are vehicles capable of circulating on the road without any intervention, or in any case very limited, on the part of the driver. These cars use very complex and organized technologies based on a software full of sensors, radars, cameras and above all artificial intelligence. These mechanisms are connected with all road systems, from traffic lights and speed detectors to road signs and the directions of travel of each street.

The driver's job is simplified, just enter the destination and it will be like traveling in public transport, with the difference that there is no human driver in this vehicle. There are different types of automatic machines, from the less technological ones that still need human support, to the fully automated ones, where in fact there are neither pedals nor a steering wheel. Here is a link you can consult: https://www.mckinsey.com/features/mckinsey-center-for-future-mobility/our-insights/whats-next-for-autonomous-vehicles 

There aren't many automatic cars today, because countries have to devise new laws to regulate this type of driving and obviously there are a lot of safety checks that have to be passed before these vehicles can be launched on the market. In Europe, various countries are starting to think about introducing automated driving for vehicles used in public transport.

An example of an automatic car is the Tesla, for more information on automatic driving with this car, consult this link: https://www.tesla.com/autopilot 


Pros and Cons of autonomous vehicles

Some of the advantages of having an autonomous vehicle are:

  • Greater safety in movements, and consequently reduction of accidents. The guidance system is not prone to fatigue or distraction; in addition, the cars will be able to sense changes in route and therefore predict the actions of other vehicles.
  • Less fuel consumption and emissions: the automatic pilot will drastically reduce sudden gear changes and the use of the brakes.
  • Reduction of driver stress and optimization of the hours dedicated to driving, which can be used for other necessary or more pleasant activities.

But, on the oder hand there are many problems that should be solved before having the opportunity to drive these new technologies:

  • Although technology can be reliable, the unexpected can always happen. Even if the vehicle is guided automatically, it would be necessary to keep one's attention on the road to avoid accidents.
  • Risk of hacking: even the self-driving car can be attacked by hackers, who could "take over" the vehicle or alter the normal driving functions.
  • Loss of professions such as driver and train driver: the automatic driving system will be able to be adapted to trucks and public transport, as is already partly the case for airplanes.
  • Privacy and personal data protection issues, which may affect drivers, passengers and third parties. These systems inevitably record, process and store numerous personal data that could be used for marketing activities.

What is a drone and how does the autonomous ones work?

The drone is an aircraft that is controlled by a human pilot who is not on board, but which operates "remotely" thanks to the commands transmitted, usually by a kind of remote control, even if usually there are no precise definitions of a drone.

The flight mechanism is quite simple: drones are equipped with rotors that push and lift them into the air. Remote-controlled ones can use Wi-Fi, cellular data, radio signals or other types of frequencies that allow you to control them using a special controller or an app in your mobile phone. And the camera built into almost all drones allows you to follow its trajectory.

Thanks to virtual reality headsets, it is even possible to experience the flight yourself! Let's not go into too much detail about how it works, but let's see better what they are used for: people who buy drones use these technologies for recreational and personal purposes, above all to record artistic videos and to see places in 360 degrees.

However, companies use drones to transport objects (such as the transport of Amazon parcels) but they are also used by the police and public bodies to conduct investigations and for security reasons, for example during the pandemic they were used to check that the safety measures regarding the lockdown were respected. In other countries, however, such as France, they are used to disinfect city streets, while the firefighters use these devices for operations to find missing persons.

Automatic drones work like the machines we have talked about previously and like the latter, they can be both fully and partially automatic, therefore needing supervision by humans or their control in case of problems. Here is an interesting article to delve into this topic: https://percepto.co/autonomous-drone/ 


Pro and cons of autonomous drones

We have already had the opportunity to see the advantages of these technologies, but let's see better what the disadvantages could be; obviously drones don't need all the security checks that automatic machines need, but in any case, there are digital problems: the first thing that comes to mind is the hacking that even automatic machines can undergo.

Another problem are viruses, in fact many companies have noticed that there is no difficulty in infecting one; there may also be short circuits or software malfunctions. Of course, you don't have to worry, as there have been many refinements of drones, but even though it is a technology that has been around for many years, it still needs to have some aspects perfected.

Every technology can involve risks, even those that have existed for decades, and it is advisable to buy a drone to enjoy the magnificent experience of total immersion in an environment.


Alpha Solutions

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