Dear Wheego Enthusiast,
In This Issue:
Earth Day 2017
- Earth Day 2017
- Understanding Autonomous Car Sensors
- How Self-Driving Cars Will Transform Urban Living for the Better
Wheego Technologies will celebrate Earth Day 2017 on the Georgia Tech campus on Friday, April 21 from 10am to 3pm. Members of our Autonomous Driving team will display a data collection car and answer questions from students and visitors. Georgia Tech's Earth Day Festival
is one of the largest in the southeast. The event features over 70 exhibitors and includes eco-friendly giveaways, recycling opportunities, a clothing swap, an office supply exchange, live music, and organic popcorn. Free and open to the public.
Earth Day is officially celebrated on April 22, 2017. For other Earth Day celebrations near you, visit the Earth Day website
Understanding Autonomous Car Sensors
2025AD.com has put together the following infographic explaining the different sensors (ultrasonic, image, radar, LIDAR, and Cloud) used by self-driving cars. See the full infographic here
How Self-Driving Cars Will Transform Urban Living for the Better
In an article for BigThink, Elise Bohan explores how autonomous cars will improve our lives. Read the full article here, and the Stanford study she references here.
We often hear that self-driving cars could eliminate almost all road related accidents and fatalities. While this would be an amazing boon for humanity, they could do much else besides. Below we explore some other potential benefits suggested in the first installment of Stanford University’s One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100), titled, “Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030.”
No More Traffic, No More Carparks
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in traffic. Sadly it’s a daily occurrence for many. But the authors of the Stanford report predict that by 2030, “traffic jams and parking challenges [will] become obsolete.” What’s the logic?
For starters, far fewer people will own cars in the future. They won’t need to because:
“AI applications are likely to transform transportation toward self-driving vehicles with on-time pickup and delivery of people and packages.”
It will be more cost effective to hail autonomous vehicles on demand in a taxi-like model, with options for group-sharing autonomous shuttles and buses, rather than individuals owning a car that sits inert 95% of the time and has expensive maintenance costs.
The result? There will be fewer cars being put to much more efficient use. Factor in the networked capabilities of the cars, which will know the best routes in advance, in combination with the growing trend of working from home, and the peak hour rush really could start to become a thing of the past.
Fewer cars and less idle time also means less parking space will be needed. A lot less! It also means no more time wasted circling around backstreets and parking lots to find a space. The car will simply drop you off and go. You get to save the money you would have spent on parking and avoid the stress of finding somewhere to leave your car.
More Housing, More Parks
According to the Stanford report:
“As cars will become better drivers than people, city-dwellers will own fewer cars, live further from work, and spend time differently, leading to an entirely new urban organization.”
Car companies like Volkswagen, Mercedes, Toyota and General Motors agree, and they are swiftly transforming their business models on the basis of this prediction. Specifically, they are investing in artificial intelligence technologies and buying up, or partnering with, ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber.
If self-driving fleets go all-electric, air pollution could be massively reduced and associated healthcare costs would decline. Even though that's mostly a benefit of electric cars, it's worth noting that most self-driving fleets in the future will be electric. The auto industry's ongoing evolution from a business centered around human-piloted cars to one focused on autonomous vehicles is occurring simultaneously with the societal transition from gas guzzlers to electric cars.
Cars are expensive, and not just as a one-off large purchase. The average monthly cost of parking in New York City is around $400/month, while car spaces sell from $45,000 to $1 million. A small dark structure with no windows is hardly the most exciting way to spend a big wad of cash. Then there’s the ongoing costs of owning and running a car, which in the US average around $9,000/year, or roughly $25/day.
Get rid of the car and the garage and there’s more money in your pocket. Or, if you choose to own a self-driving car, you can lease it out as a taxi and earn money when you’re not using it
As the Stanford report points out:
“On average, a commuter in US spends twenty-five minutes driving each way. With self-driving car technology, people will have more time to work or entertain themselves during their commutes."
The authors of the report also remark on the "increased comfort and decreased cognitive load" that self-driving cars can facilitate. Whether it’s work, meditation, or kicking back and watching Game of Thrones, you can get a lot more done when you're not spending an hour a day piloting a fast moving vehicle.
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The Wheego Team