Self-driving cars are taking technological innovation to a whole new level as it paves the way to the future of driving. This emerged technology was created with the idea of efficiency and making people’s lives easier as they no longer will have to drive themselves. A self-driving car is essentially a driverless car that is run by systems and detectors to take control of the vehicle. A person can get to where they are going without actually doing anything to the car.
This technology is constantly innovating as vehicles have become partially autonomous. Certain car models have features such as brake assistance that will automatically brake or shift the vehicle if it senses you are getting too close to an object, are about to get into a collision with another vehicle, or are drifting into another lane. These partially autonomous vehicles still have steering wheels and still need to be controlled manually, however have a certain extent of capabilities that allows the vehicle to run autonomously.
According to an article from the Union of Concerned Scientists: companies such as Uber, Google, Nissan, Tesla, and other automakers have been implementing this technology for their self-driving prototypes. While design details vary, most self-driving systems create and maintain an internal map of their surroundings, based on a wide array of sensors, like radar. Uber partnered with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University to push the development of self-driving cars. The initial testing started with approximately 20 self-driving prototypes. According to an article from Tech Radar: The cars themselves were packed with around 20 cameras, 7 lasers, a GPS, radar, and LiDAR, a technology that measures the distance reached by outgoing lasers so cars can see’ and interpret the action around them (Johnson, Fitzsimmons). Since the initial testing that took place back in 2015, Uber has created improvements to create a safer and overall better autonomous vehicle. The self-driving prototypes include many different sensors that overlap with each other to cover all 360 degrees around the vehicle along with 64 laser beams to create an internal map for the vehicle and it’s entire surroundings. Google’s self-driving cars have been in testing since 2010 and similar to other driverless prototypes, they are constantly being innovated for the better. Implemented into the vehicle is a combination of lasers and sensors. According to an article from alphr: Google’s driverless car has eight sensors. The most noticeable is the rotating roof-top LiDAR ” a camera that uses an array of 32 or 64 lasers to measure the distance to objects to build up a 3D map at a range of 200m, letting the car see hazards. The car also sports another set of eyes,’ a standard camera that points through the widescreen. This also looks for nearby hazards and reads road signs and detects traffic lights (Woolaston). Other automakers such as Tesla and Nissan are also pursuing driverless cars. Tesla currently has partially autonomous features within their models that use autopilot driving which allows for the car to match the speed of the traffic and switch lanes without any manual input. Nissan plans to release their first autonomous vehicle in 2020. The software built in processes the lasers and sensors from the vehicle to create an internal map and sends those directions back to the vehicle so it knows what control to use. Through the use of data and predictive analytics, the driverless vehicles are able to navigate through the streets, while still obeying all traffic laws. This also allows for a competitive advantage within the transportation industry. Through the implementation of IT software to create driverless cars can differentiate from their competitors. Autonomous vehicles are also intended to lower costs as it will be less time consuming and will allow consumers to get more things done during the day. It is also less accident prone, which will cut down on insurance costs in the future. Disruptive Innovation Theory The disruptive innovation theory changes an entire market or industry and self-driving cars aligns with that theory. Self-driving cars will revolutionize the way people get around., which is why it is likely to emerge A major component of the industry’s business process is the drivers that are employed by companies such as Uber or Lyft. Once driving becomes entirely autonomous, this will cut back on the drivers, as they will no longer be necessary. Since employment levels will drop within the industry, it will disturb the business process that was previously in place. However, it will also create a new industry that will create different employment opportunities to boost employment.Innovation Attributes By looking at the innovation attributes methodology, self-driving cars are most likely to emerge. Relative advantage focuses on the innovative technology being superior to the previous technology. Self-driving cars will supersede in terms of functionality and efficiency. People will no longer have to spend time driving in the car and will be able to do other things while still being able to get to where they need to go. This may also help decrease the amount of accidents and collisions on the road from drivers under the influence, distractions, road rage, etc. Compatibility determines how well this innovation will be suited within the society we live in. According to a study by Pew Research Center: 75% of the public anticipates that this development will help the elderly and disabled live more independent lives (Smith, Anderson). By implementing driverless cars into society, there is an opportunity to help a population of people become more independent and have more control over their lives without having to be dependent on other people such as family members or other care takers. Complexity focuses on the technology being too complicated for the average person to use and understand. However, autonomous cars are designed to be simple. A person gets into their car, turns it on and the car will drive for you without any manual controls necessary. The car will use lasers, sensors, and predictive analytics to completely analyze the surroundings so you get to where you need to go safely. Trialability gives the opportunity for potential consumers to test it without cost or much effort. Self-driving cars will be able to be tested by consumers to help decrease any fear or anxiety associated with an entirely autonomous vehicle. A major concern with driverless cars is safety, but by giving consumers the opportunity to test it, there would be ease when the technology is entirely implemented. Observability of innovation allows for the benefits and results to be easily communicated to others. Self-driving cars are already heading towards the market as automakers have already partially automated vehicles and entirely autonomous cars to be on the market in the future. Cars are always constantly being innovated and consumers are constantly being drawn to those innovations, which would mean that driverless cars are most likely to be adopted at a quicker rate. Technology S-CurvesSelf- driving cars are in the specific phase of the technology cycle, which focuses on small improvements on the base design that was created in the fluid phase. Self-driving cars is currently in this phase as they have the base design of what they are aiming towards creating and are currently making incremental improvements to have an even better model. The biggest feature that is getting worked on is safety. During this phase, automakers have been making improvements to ensure the safety of the vehicles so that way consumers will be at ease from testing stages to when they will be implemented on the road. Self-driving cars poses a threat on jobs within the industry. Current business processes for companies such as Uber and taxi services employ drivers to get their customers to where they need to go. With the implementation of driverless cars, companies will no longer need to hire drivers to take their consumers to their locations, the car will do it automatically. On a report from Goldan Sachs, it is estimated that autonomous cars could eliminate 300,000 driving jobs a year (Reinicke). Although there will be a large portion of jobs getting cut, there will be an opportunity for more jobs such as software developers, designers, maintenance, and many more that will be necessary as this car becomes increasingly popular. There is a high likelihood that self-driving cars will emerge over the coming years as we are already moving towards that technological change as it is seen through testing and partially autonomous cars. This emerged technology will take driving and transportation to a brand new level that will ultimately boost efficiency, productivity and functionality for consumers.