After the years of Hearings, inquiries and decision making, Autonomous vehicles are finally real and on the roads now.
Now, it has been officially entered the era of level four autonomy for self-driving cars.
In the United States, the general public have the opportunity to ride through a half-mile stretch of Las Vegas in a new shuttle built by French AI company Navya. The shuttle is autonomous. It does not have a steering wheel or brake pedal. It is operated by the American Automobile Association (AAA) nonprofit organization, as part of an initiative to help spread positive knowledge of technology.
The vehicle has a top speed of 40 km / h (25 mph), but will probably only run at 16-32 km / h (10-15 mph), so it will not win any races. It communicates with traffic lights and is guided by GPS and a camera system. It will carry up to 11 passengers at a time and the rides are free.
Jorge Cervantes, director of operations and development for the city of Las Vegas, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“This is the next step to see if autonomous vehicles have a conflict with real-time traffic, which will help us determine if this technology can be implemented in the long run.”
The achievement of level four autonomy was a big success and both Waymo and Navya should be proud to make history. At level four, a vehicle does not need a steering wheel or pedals; It can work to its full functionality without human being inside. The next step, level five, would involve a vehicle that does not need to connect to the cloud, GPS, traffic network or any other form of external information.
Currently, vehicles on US roadways are operated without any human direction at all. Of course, safety measures are in place, and in these continuous tests, people are inside the vehicles in case it is necessary to press an “extraction” button.
For all those who have waited impatiently for the future, when artificial intelligence would become so advanced that we could achieve truly driverless cars.