How Electric and Self-Driving Vehicles are Set to Change Our Roads Forever

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Cars have come a long way since they were first introduced to the roads. But they have a long way to go yet too! You can guarantee that as long as people are around, there will be developments to constantly look forward to. After all, we’re constantly striving for perfection! So, what are the latest developments in the automotive journey? Well, research at the moment tends to be focused largely on electric vehicles and self-driving vehicles. Let’s a take a closer look at both now.


Taking a Look at the Past

Developments in motoring technology have been pretty consistent over the past few decades. Think how far we’ve come since the first consumer-targeted vehicles took to the roads in the 1950s! Back then, seatbelts didn’t exist, emissions were atrocious, and there were barely any laws to the road. Now, we have a theory to learn and strict tests to pass before we’re allowed to hit the roads unsupervised. Governments have developed complex highway systems, with roads spanning the entire length and breadth of most modern countries. There are also strict rules regarding vehicle registration that was previously lax. Nowadays, you have to keep a number plate that your vehicle was issued with or buy a personalized one from sources such as to identify your vehicle to other road users. On top of that, constant tests are being carried out to understand the dangers of vehicles for those inside the car, as well as other road users, cyclists, and pedestrians. Technology is then persistently pushed to make the driving experience as safe for everyone and everything around; from people to animals and even inanimate objects and property. Emissions are being measured and new ways are constantly being thought up of reducing the detrimental impact that our transport has on the environment. This isn’t half of the story, we’re just getting started! So, while you might think that there haven’t been major developments in the automotive technology of late, you’d be surprised. Self-driving vehicles are just the most recent link in a huge chain of progressive thought in the field.

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What is an Electric Vehicle?

As we are all well aware, using fossil fuels is an awful environmental choice. Not only are they non-renewable (meaning they’ll run out someday) but they also contribute to global warming and other forms of climate change. Now, fossil fuels are used in a wide variety of sectors, and the majority of these are actively working towards reducing their fossil fuel emissions. However, the transport sector seems to be using more and more fossil fuels as more people take to the roads. We are spending time looking into green alternatives for all sorts of energy. So, it’s not surprising that this area of interest has turned to our vehicles too. The most effective form of green energy for vehicles at the moment is electricity. Not only is electricity cheaper than fossil fuels, but it’s a more moral option to take too. They have zero emissions, making them entirely eco-friendly! What’s not to love? Certain aspects of electric cars are still being improved. For example, you can refill a standard vehicle with diesel or petrol in minutes, but an electric vehicle must be plugged in to recharge. Companies are currently working on reducing the waiting times, and at the moment a standard electric vehicle can generally be recharged to 80 percent in around half an hour. The main problem with electric vehicles is that while they are great for the environment, they don’t tend to offer any particular advantage to the owner or driver in particular. For this reason, people tend to be ignoring the wider benefits and sticking with what they know. This is such a shame, as, at the end of the day, we all rely on the planet being healthy as possible to live our own lives to the utmost. Hopefully, as more electric vehicles take to the roads and more charging points are made available, more people will make the big switch and try these vehicles out for themselves.


What is a Self-Driving Vehicle?

Self-driving vehicles truly do sound like something out of a sci-fi film. So much importance is placed on driver responsibility that the thought of a vehicle without a designated driver just sounds too out there. But the truth is that we already have elements of self-driving vehicles on our roads. Take a look at assisted driving. This is essentially the start of things to come! Assisted driving makes use of features such as radars, cameras, and sensors to allow a driver to park more easily. They also allow the driver to be made aware of the presence of anything that is close to the vehicle, whether they had noticed it themselves or not. What’s more? We have automated emergency braking systems too! This system will see your vehicle break of its own accord if it senses that the way you are driving could pose a danger to anything that happens to have been detected as in close proximity to your vehicle. So where do we go from here? Well, the next step in this journey is partial automation. This will entail exactly what it says on the tin: while the driver of the vehicle will still need to remain alert at the wheel, the car itself will be able to take automatic safety actions. The end goal of this journey aims to have cars on the roads that require absolutely no human attention to get from A to B. They will do everything of their own accord. Of course, this still requires some work. But companies such as Google and Tesla are pouring research into it!


As you can see, things are progressing pretty fast, and we have a whole lot to look forward to when it comes to the four-wheeled world! Not only are things set to become more environmentally friendly and better for the planet that we inhabit, but they’re set to make our day to day lives become easier too!