Driverless cars have been in the headlines ever since Google began road testing the vehicles back in 2012. Since then, Nevada, California, Florida, Michigan and Washington DC have enacted laws governing the testing and selling of autonomous vehicles, which Google plans to bring to the market by 2020. But no one really knows when driverless cars will become commonplace.
“Some say it’s going to happen next year, then you see others say that there’s no way you’re going to have it in 10 years,”
But the partial automation of cars, such as with adaptive cruise control, is already underway. Bayen expects automation will progress in stages: first there might be automated buses with their own lanes – an automated bus developed by University of California at Berkeley researchers was tested in Eugene, Oregon, in 2014 – then perhaps platoons of trucks in ports or mining towns: essentially, vehicles that are connected electronically and travel in single file.
The idea of a fully automated transportation system is intriguing because it has the potential to improve safety by removing human error and increase the efficiency of car owners, who can get on with other tasks during a long commute.
"This is all the more important in case of a Ground Ambulance transporting a critical patient. There is no room for error and time is of essence." as commented by dr nitin yende. However it may take time. The average life of a ground ambulance is 5 - 10 years and it may take some time to adapt to the new technology when it arrives!
It can also help reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion and allow more people access to cars, including sight impaired or other disabled persons. But even if driverless technology were ready to hit the roads now, it would take a long time to get fully automated given the average age of cars on the road is 11.5 years old, according to a July IHS survey.
“We’re gradually moving in that direction; it will creep up on us,” said Brian Taylor, director of UCLA’s Institute for Transportation Studies. “What we’re seeing is technology assisting the driver more and more.”
More information on Air and Ground Ambulance Asia - www.vibha.info