Why Self-Driving Cars?

So why am I taking this class, Autonomous Vehicles?  I could be taking an easy elective and relaxing my senior year, but instead I’m in this class to learn about what I think will be the greatest change in day-to-day life that my generation will see.

Autonomous vehicles have been in the public eye a lot recently, but they’ve been in the minds of scientists and engineers since 1939, when General Motors put on a World Fair to show the public what the company thought the future would look.  Part of this exhibit was a concept of a car that could drive itself. (Source)

Since then engineers have been working towards making this concept closer to reality.  Advances in sensing technology, algorithms, and safety have all brought this ideal closer to reality.  And recently, the science and tech has gotten close enough that the possibility of self-driving cars hitting the road is very real.

At this moment, Google, Uber, Tesla, and many others are testing self-driving cars.  Others are tackling self-driving long range semis.  The world is on the edge of the tech necessary, and now it is time to figure out everything else. And that’s a big everything.

Infrastructure, laws, training, attitudes, and more need to change to make this dream a reality.  Its going to take effort from nearly every sector to bring these cars to the consumer.  The field is exploding with jobs, and I’m interested in every single aspect.

To answer my question, I’m interested in this class because it feels like the “flying cars” of my generation.  Except it will actually happen.  Now is such a unique time to be alive that I want to absorb all I can about now so I can be best poised to do well in the future.

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