DUI (driving under the influence), calling or texting while driving, and over-speeding has cost many people their lives on the highway. For these factors and other human errors that cause fatal accidents, automobile companies consistently work on adding features that enhance safety to their products with virtually every new edition.
But a situation where smartphone makers take the innovation right out of the hands of industry experts is a controversial trend to be up to date with. It all probably started with wanting to keep the streets and highways safer. Now, it is more of a “power tussle” between tech giants, specifically Google, Samsung, and Apple.
While Google and Samsung make smart cars, Apple promises to give the other companies a run for their campaign when the iCar project gets completed. Let us take a look at what these tech giants have been up to in their secret labs, collected by Naijauto.com!
1. Google Smart Car
Bearing typical resemblances to many smart vehicles you can find commercially, the dual-passenger subcompact motor car, however, has some remarkable features. The Google smart car comes with no pedals and steering wheel. The car ignites by just a simple push of a button and gets you to the destination you input into the car’s software system, using its integrated Google Maps.
With Google’s smart car, there is little human intervention except for the start button which doubles for a pullover in case you need to take an emergency brake. The body material is foam-like and it has the windshield made of plastic. The car's speed can peak at 40km/h. Its computer works with integrated radar and laser sensors for self-driving. There is a technology equipped in the car to eliminate blind spots. But let us hope this cute baby will get a facelift before it is commercially released.
Google self-driving car has a cartoony look
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2. Samsung Autonomous Car
Samsung has been trying their luck in the automotive industry since the mid-90s. The company was later subsumed under Renault to form Renault Samsung Motors (RSM) in September 2000. But as different from their partnership with Renault, Samsung does actually make self-driving cars.
In 2017, Samsung acquired permission from the South Korea government to test its autonomous vehicles on their highways. As of then, it wasn’t certain that Samsung would be producing self-driving cars on a commercial scale as it looked more likely that they would be supplying car companies with components, but the Samsung CES 2018 “Smart Car of the Future” exhibition gives a whole new outlook to what they are working on.
Samsung took the CES 2018 by storm with their smart car exhibition
3. Apple iCar
When we first caught a whiff of the news that Apple was working on something grander than their high-end portable gadgets - a car, it was largely considered to be a rumor. That was in 2015. But now, we are sure that it’s the truth. They call it the Project Titan. Apple did some massive poaching of Tesla’s techies to work on the iCar initiative. And now, they boast more than 600 hands with hands on deck on the innovation they promise will take the world by storm.
Although what the Apple iCar prototype would look like is not really known, there are a number of designs that have emerged from people’s imaginative minds.
One of the many speculations for the iCar prototype
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4. Do we really need smart cars?
If you are one of those people that ask such questions as "why should I buy a smart car?", it is probably because you consider it as a sheer luxury. But the truth is that this novelty has proved to actually be a bar raiser for automobile safety, performance, and reliability.
For example, imagine that you can read a novel or quickly go over your next presentation during the free time you get while in transit if you have a self-driving car. The air we breathe in will also become cleaner when we have more cars running on electricity, instead of fossil fuel which gives off poisonous gases resulting from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon compounds. This makes it even more ideal for urban life. Besides, the ever-rising price of petroleum products means you save quite a lot, each time you refill your car.
Samsung autonomous car series was launched in Korea in 2015
Smart cars have also proved to be cost efficient and reliable. Top on the list of the companies that produce smart cars is safety. They are typically built on next-generation tech for the best functioning. This means that your car is less likely to develop faults compared to conventional cars. By and large, smart cars improve the quality of human life. If they are a bit spendy, it’s definitely worth it.
While conventional cars are still better used, the idea of smart cars keeps the mind of automotive experts on the possibility of nonstop innovation. The whole theory is based on the fact that cars can be made to suit our modern society; that cars can be evolved to suit our dynamic lifestyles, instead of our cars being a major factor in deciding how our routines go.
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