Driverless transport is currently being tested worldwide. Although it may seem something like science fiction movies, nothing is further from reality. This type of technology is more a reality of the present than of the future. Just visit countries like China, the United States, England or Spain, among others, to find different examples.
Artificial intelligence is the technology that allows the means of transport to not require a driver. And we say means of transportation because it is no longer something exclusive to vehicles, but to trains, trucks and even airplanes. Although in some cases, as in the case of airplanes, we are still a few years away from seeing them without pilots at their controls, driverless technology will increase safety and save costs. And this, despite the accidents in which prototypes of Tesla and Uber have been involved in the United States.
Driverless transport, a near future
Do you still think that this technology is a thing of the future? We are going to review some of the projects that have already seen the light across the planet.
Autonomous bullet train
China already have the first bullet trains that run at speeds of up to 350km / h, without the need for a driver. Not only have they finished testing on any of the rail lines, but they also have the certifications that allow them to operate on the future Beijing-Zhangjiakou line. Of course, during the first ten years, they have assured that they will have a driver who will not operate the train, but will act in case of emergency.
Aircraft without pilot
According to experts, it will still take about 20 or 30 years to see planes without pilots. However, companies such as Airbus and Boeing are already trying to develop autonomous aircraft, thanks to artificial intelligence. Something that, in the case of commercial airplanes, would mean significant cost savings, since it would reduce current crew needs.
Uber driverless trucks are now a reality in the United States. Since 2017, they circulate on the roads of Arizona for the transport of goods, on long-distance journeys. Also, as in the case of autonomous trains, they have a licensed driver, who, far from operating the truck, only acts in an emergency.
It all started in 2016 when a company truck traveled about 200 kilometers in two hours to make a delivery in Colorado, United States. As of this moment, the future ceased to be present.
Buses without driver
In January 2018, Stockholm opened the first bus without a driver. A prototype of the Good Finance, which has shared roads with pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles to recreate real traffic situations. And it is that Sweden has, since 2015, with the project ‘Drive Sweden’. An initiative promoted by the Swedish government to face the challenges posed by road safety.
However, we do not have to go so far to find such an initiative underway. In 2016, San Lorenzo was one of the cities chosen by the Europe Commission to test a busless driver project. Three of these vehicles circulated for three months through the city’s Science and Technology Park.
As we have seen in the rest of the projects, these buses circulated without a driver, but they carried an operator on board to act in case of emergency.
Until the prototypes become definitive means of transport, we ask you, would you trust when traveling aboard one of these autonomous transports?