Science took one step forward towards the future recently, as driverless cars by Ford are tested in fake city MCity. It seems our futuristic dreams are coming true, one by one. After the incredible achievement with the hover-board, now comes the time of the driverless vehicles.
Soon children will not longer need their parents to take them to school, and we adults will no longer use taxis after we’ve had some drinks at a party. And most importantly, in the case of long travels by car, we will be able to use the long hours for more useful or fun activities.
The Mcity is a simulated place in Ann Arbor, MI, constructed by the Department of Transportation of Michigan and the MI University and launched in July 2015. The fake city is a perfect environment for testing as it includes everything from a real one: red lights, signs, crosswalks, bike lanes, traffic control devices, lane delineators, sidewalks and trees. It is also equipped with obstacles like ramps, roundabouts, tunnels and has roads with two to four lanes.
The 130,000 square meters city is currently being used by Ford for the first time to test driverless cars, more specifically the Fusion vehicle. Fusion includes lots of special features, such as sensors and cameras, but also a radar used for generating a 3D map of its surroundings. Ford produces multiple autonomous features for vehicles, such as Edge and Explorer SUVs, Fusion medium sized cars, Taurus large cars and F-150 light-duty pickups.
It is expected that in the beginning such cars will only be used by people who can’t drive and for utilities. People passionate by driving will not give it up so easily. However, people should not start relying so heavily on the autonomous cars as they did with other pieces of technology, most notably the personal computer. If they do, there will definitely be an increase in the production of vehicles, and thus in pollution.
Scientists expect to start providing the driverless cars in the next four or five years. After ideas and designs for the autonomous vehicles appeared, the project was constructed, these being the two first steps. Now driverless cars by Ford are tested in fake city for the third step. In spite of all the commodities offered by new technology, we should only use it when needed.
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