We have the renowned film ‘Back to the Future’ to thank for the past belief that everyone would be floating around on hoverboards by the year 2020. Despite that prediction not eventuating, self-driving cars and their common presence in day to day life has moved from the perception of ‘maybe, one day’ to ‘inevitable.’

The advancements in artificial intelligence are being utilised by the transport industry on a global scale. In December 2018, Google’s self-driving car project began the first service of self-driving cars. Although semi-autonomous cars have been around for over a decade, it is predicted that the fast evolution of robotics and artificial intelligence over the next 10 years, self-driving cars will be accessible for consumer purchase.

So, what is a self-driving car exactly? What features do they have to make them safe and what do they include that manually driven vehicles do not have?

1- Lidars

Artificial intelligence transport options all contain lidars. Lidars detect light and measure ranges by using state of the art robotic lasers.

2- Cameras

The advanced camera technology in self-driving cars allows them to detect signs, lights and pedestrians. These cameras ensure the safety of the vehicle when on the move as they can detect a hazard or change in traffic flow, often well before the human eye could spot it.

3– Machines

Self-driving cars actually have the capacity to learn and retain memories. The machine technology embedded within a self-driving car is programmed to remember roads, pedestrian hot spots and even the best places for parking!

4- Mapping technology

Apps and programs such as google maps and satellite navigation systems have been a handy addition in vehicles for well over a decade. The beauty of a self-driving car is that this feature is embedded within, and the advanced technology allows the data and logistics to be constantly updated as conditions and destinations change.

While self-driving cars and their technology still have a way to go before they become commonplace in a home driveway, the advancements in artificial intelligence can ensure that when they are widely available, they will be safe, practical and convenient for the proud owner.