In this day in age, it’s hard to escape the future. We live in an era where you can find the name of the song you’re listening to on the radio, just by recording it with your phone. While we’re still fairly far away from achieving Jetson-like flying cars, today we’re inching ever so close to commercializing self-driving cars and making transportation more convenient than ever before. It’s also worth noting that Chrysler vehicles are also playing a huge part in pushing the development and commercialization of self-driving vehicles today.
Want to learn more about self-driving cars and how they’re advancing throughout the years? The team at Great West Chrysler has condensed all the important information you need about today’s self-driving vehicles and how Chrysler vehicles contributed to their technological advancements going forward.
A Brief History
Experimentation with self-driving cars began as early as the 1920s. The first promising vehicle produced was General Motors’ Firebird II in the 1970s by Tsukuba Mechanical Engineering Lab with having an “electronic brain” that moved into and followed a lane according to a metal conductor—it managed to achieve speeds of up to 30 km/h on its own. Fast forwarding to 1991, the U.S. Congress allocated over $650 million dollars for research on the National Automated Highway System that further developed autonomous driving through a network of traceable highways and vehicles following said trails that were made. At the end of the research phase, there were successful demonstrations showcasing the potential of self-driving cars, but no clear direction or further funding was given to keep pushing it further.
How It Works
Self-driving cars use a system that combines a variety of technologies that map or sense its surrounding environments such as radar, GPS, laser light, computer vision, and odometry. It also incorporates advanced control systems that interpret the sensory information from the technologies listed and comes up with navigation paths to drive itself with the obstacles—and signage—in mind. Most people associate self-driving vehicles as being “automatic” cars, but they’re actually considered “autonomous” because it’s able to adapt and react to its surrounding environment as it’s changing, compared to using artificial aids and one-way logic computing.
Chrysler’s Role In Self-Driving Cars
Earlier this year, Chrysler partnered with the company Waymo by supplying them with thousands of modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. Waymo was formed after the self-driving project funded by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, became a business of its own, seeking to bring a self-driving taxi service available to consumers. Chrysler will begin delivering vehicles with both self-driving hardware and software in each vehicle later this year, with Waymo planning to bring the vehicles to multiple cities for testing throughout 2018.
Great West Chrysler is more than excited to see what the future holds for self-driving cars and proud to represent the brand that’s pushing the envelope for these technological advancements. You can also check our website to learn more about the Pacifica Hybrid and why it makes for a great self-driving vehicle!