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Unbelievable Benefits And Drawbacks Of The Self-Driving Car

Unbelievable Benefits And Drawbacks Of The Self-Driving Car

In today’s ever more inter-connected world, it appears like technology has something to add to absolutely every industry. The same is true of transportation, with self-driving cars fast becoming a hot topic. The concept of self-driving cars has been around for years, but only recently have increasing advances in networking, satellites, and laser equipment made this dream a reality. Several companies have made major investments in the self-driving car market, but Google, Audi, BMW, and Hyundai are so far doing the most testing. On Google models for example, a complex overhead laser guidance system combines with real time satellite data to expertly guide the car under any condition. These advances mean that we may soon be able to sit back and relax the next time we leave the house, letting our car do all the work. While self-driving cars present many incredible advances for consumers, the safety requirements are particularly complicated and may present significant challenges to these cars being made available to the public.

Benefits:

1. Nearly No Error

The incredibly complicated technology behind self-driving cars lets the on board computer make hundreds of calculations a second. These include how far you are from objects, current speed, behaviour of other cars, and location on the globe. These super accurate readings have virtually eliminated driving errors for test cars on the road, as the only accidents so far are while human drivers have been in control.

2. Eases Congestion

Because self-driving cars are rarely involved in accidents, their potential to ease congestion is high. Not only that, because self-driving cars can communicate with each other, they would eliminate the need for traffic signals. By driving at a slower rate but with less stops, better coordinated traffic would lead to less congestion.

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    3. Eases Parking Woes

    Because self-driving cars don’t require a driver, they could alleviate parking concerns in highly populated areas. For example, a passenger could get out at their destination, and if no parking was available the car could circle the block until the passenger was ready to leave. Because the cars can coordinate traffic flow, this is expected to have little impact on traffic congestion. This may be a hugely useful aspect for drivers in large urban centres.

    4. Potential For New Design

    Because a vehicle may eventually function as a sort of self guided train car, the potential for new car designs is huge. With no need for complicated driving tools, self-driving cars could include new ways to relax or to stay entertained. The new design opportunities are not limited to the interior however, and self-driving cars may soon look unrecognizable to cars today. Ultimately, some people think cars could become like a high tech living room you kick back in until you reach a destination.

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      5. Potential For More Powerful Vehicles

      Because self-driving cars don’t require a driver, technicians could potentially rearrange where on the car the various mechanical parts are stored. This may also lead to cars with more capable and powerful engines. With less driver errors, cars could eventually be capable of going much higher speeds.

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      Drawbacks:

      6. Expensive

      Self-driving cars are so exciting because they are stuffed to the brim with space age technology, but all this technology is currently astronomically expensive. In general, technology grows cheaper the longer it is available to the public, so self-driving cars may eventually be something anyone can afford. For now however, most companies have not released a price for their driverless cars.

      7. Potential For Technology To Go Wrong

      Though successful programming lets us do incredible things, there is always the potential for some unexpected glitch to emerge. Even if a self-driving car performs flawlessly at first, it is possible for the programming that runs the cars to be updated by the car company with a fault string of code. Errors like this cause annoyance on our computers and mobile devices, but could potentially cause car accidents with self-driving cars.

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        8. Licensing Infrastructure Not Yet In Place

        Self-driving cars also present a challenge for state and federal licensing infrastructure. The companies claim these cars are safe, yet it is up to public institutions to keep drivers safe. Not only do our local car licensing offices need to make sure these cars perform as advertised, they need to come up with a way to quickly and efficiently license and control them. Should our technology and hunger for these cars outpace our ability to investigate and approve them, public safety may be at risk.

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          9. Potential For Greater Pollution

          While many companies are looking at self-driving cars that use fuel-efficient or hybrid models, should our access to self-driving cars outpace our commitment to clean energy, we may be looking at much more pollution. Getting out of your car at the front of the movie theater without needing to park sounds good in theory, but if the car you’re driving isn’t electric, emissions would be worse than leaving your car idling while you watch the movie.

          10. Potential Loss Of Privacy

          Finally, though the companies testing self-driving cars claim all pros and no cons, using a self-driving car means a third party would have the opportunity to track your movements. While many companies will likely avoid this due to consumer backlash, a massive loss of privacy still exists. Because your car would be receiving or communicating with data centers, your location would be potentially accessible to people or organizations who could hack into the network.

          All in all, self-driving cars have the potential to be an incredible new wave in the future of humanity. Increased productivity, rest time, and possibly eliminating risk while driving, have the potential to greatly improve all of our lives. Should self-driving cars be available to the public before certain safety and privacy considerations are solved however, they may also present serious new complications for consumers. Regardless, self driving cars present a wide range of uses, and a mammoth new technological world.

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            Whether you love them or hate them, self-driving cars are a mind blowing emerging innovation that all of us should be watching carefully.

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            Alicia Prince

            A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

            Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

            Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

            So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

            Joe’s Goals

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              Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

              Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

              Daytum

                Daytum

                is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                Excel or Numbers

                  If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                  What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                  Evernote

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                    I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                    Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                    Access or Bento

                      If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                      Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                      You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                      Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                      All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                      Conclusion

                      I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                      What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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