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How Self Driving Cars Work (Infographic)

Posted August 21, 2019

Self-driving cars have been a topic of excitement and debate this past year. As manufacturers come closer to developing road-safe fully autonomous vehicles, consumers are voicing safety concerns and wondering: how do self-driving cars work?

Image credit: Marc van der Chijs via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

Although cars without drivers may seem scary, there are many benefits of fully autonomous cars, including safety advantages.

Benefits of self-driving cars include:

  • Increased productivity —  Self driving cars would allow passengers to use their commute time for work or pleasure.

  • Improved safety — Well-built driverless cars, with backup systems in place could eliminate human error—the number one cause of accidents—and save saving lives

  • Decreased carbon emissions — Most driverless cars will run off electric energy. As long as the batteries are charged with clean energy, carbon emissions will be drastically reduced.

  • More independence for people with disabilities and seniors — Driverless cars would give people who cannot drive the ability to travel independently.

  • Less road congestion — Self-driving cars can be programmed to allow three to four car lengths in front of them, providing room for other cars to change lanes and traffic to flow more smoothly on highways.

As for the question of how self-driving cars work, the technology is complicated on a granular level, but the basics are easy to grasp. Take a look at this animation from The Zebra to learn the foundational technologies of these cars of the future.

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